FLORISTS are preparing for an international petal-powered battle.

The RHS Show Tatton Park July 21-25 is hosting the Eurofleurs 2010 floristry competition.

The event is co-ordinated by the international organisation of florists, Florint, representing 20 European countries.

The competition started in 1998 and is one of the highlights of the international floristry calendar.

It takes place every four years, with a different member country hosting each final.

As a celebration of new creativity in the industry it is only open to florists under the age of 25, all of which have to undergo a series of tough trials in their own country before being selected as the candidate to represent their nation in the final.

Only one applicant from each country can reach the final.

Flying the flag for Britain will be Joe Massie, from Liverpool, who is tipped to go all the way.

Joe has an excellent floral pedigree having already won at five national competitions including RHS Chelsea Young Florist of the Year.

In pursuit of the top prize, Joe and his competitors will be set five tasks, each themed around the concept of “art at Tatton Park”, which they will have to complete at the show within the British Florist Association (BFA) marquee.

Tatton Park is one of the most historic estates in the UK, with more than 50 acres of gardens to inspire competitors.

The display will have to demonstrate their creativity and technical ability to the judges.

Visitors to the RHS Show Tatton Park will be able to visit the marquee during the competition and see how the contestants’ work is progressing.

The competition will commence the day before the show opens, July 20, and visitors will be able to see the contestants’ work displayed until Friday, July 23.

BFA events director Denis Van Wonderen said: “Winning this competition is the highest accolade that a young florist can achieve, so the rivalry will no doubt be intense.

“However, Eurofleurs is all about bringing together the international floristry community to grow and share ideas, so it’s an amazing opportunity for everyone taking part.”

Tatton Show manager Kris Hulewicz said: “Eurofleurs 2010 will be one of the big showpieces of the RHS Show Tatton Park 2010.

“This event is the World Cup of floristry and the standard is always thrilling, so it’s wonderful that visitors will get the opportunity to experience it first hand and soak up the atmosphere of excitement and friendly rivalry.”

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