Lisburn woman Joan Lockhart will be amongst a team of Northern Ireland flower arrangers who will stage a floral exhibit at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London later this month.
The team of nine flower arrangers will be staging a twenty foot square floral creation when they represent the UK at the famous flower show, which takes place from May 20-24.
The team, who represent the very best skilled floral designers in the province, have been selected as this year is the 55th year - an Emerald Anniversary - of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS).
As the NAFAS each year invites an area to stage a floral exhibit, it was decided the team from the Emerald Isle would do the honours in 2014.
Local woman Joan said she is ‘delighted’ to be involved with the team.
Joan commented: “I have always been involved in flowers in some form or other since childhood but I never dreamed I would have the privilege of representing the UK at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
“I belong to Ballymacash Flower Club in Lisburn and would recommend anyone interested in flowers to visit their local club you never know what opportunities await you.”
“I am delighted to be one of the nine flower arrangers to be chosen as the Northern Ireland team and I am really looking forward to the experience especially in this the 55th year, the Emerald Anniversary of our National organisation.
“I am lucky to hold the office of Area Chairman for NIGFAS in this very special year and would like to say a big thank you to members and friends throughout Northern Ireland who worked tirelessly raising funds to support the team.”
The team has been working hard each weekend in a large barn to perfect the design.
In celebration of the Emerald Anniversary, they have entitled their exhibit “A Green Thought in a Green Shade”. This is a quotation from the poem, “The Garden”.
Inspiration for the design is also derived from gardens in NI including the world famous National Trust gardens at Mount Stewart. Garden plant materials, including plants of Irish provenance, have been used alongside commercially produced flowers and foliage.
A new plant included, Hosta ‘Reverend Mac’, is named after an internationally known flower arranger Reverend William Mc Millan MBE, member of the Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arrangement Societies and a Special Associate of Honour of NAFAS.