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District blossoms in Flower Show glory

It was a case for onwards and upwards for the staff of George Preston Florists in Newry this week as employees from the shop claimed two medals at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Every year the world famous flower show attracts 157,000 visitors who flock to see the latest floral designs and incredible gardens. Karen Sherwin wasn’t intimidated however. Despite it being her first crack at the premiere flower show in the world Karen claimed a bronze medal. Karen who is the daughter of shop owners Bernie and George Preston is no stranger to winning. She is the current Interflora Florist of the Future titleholder and she is in no doubt as to what it is that keeps her on the podium. “It really reflects the standard of training we get here from Bernie who is a former Chelsea Flower Show winner herself,” she said. Crossmaglen Florist Siobhan Hughes who also claimed a bronze medal at her Chelsea Flower Show debut last year went one better this time around by scooping silver. “I am absolutely over the moon. I still can’t believe it to be honest,” she said. “I enjoyed it a lot more this year. I was a wee bit more settled, I kind of knew what to expect and that helped me relax a bit more. Everything I learned last year really helped me this time and I was able to improve on my skills. It’s great just to get here because of the competition in the qualifying rounds is so tough but to win a silver medal is unbelievable.” This is the last year Siobhan will compete in the junior section of the flower show as she now qualifies for the senior event but she isn’t getting ahead of herself. “Well before I even think about that I’ll have to qualify again, which is always tough,” she said. “Hopefully I will be able to give it a go but for now I’ll enjoy this.” Crossmaglen councillor Terry Hearty described Siobhan as “a great ambassador for the town. This has been another outstanding performance from Siobhan who only gets better with each year,” he said. “She continues to be a credit not just to herself and to George Preston Flowers but to all of south Armagh. She’s a great ambassador for Crossmaglen and we are lucky to have such creative talent in the area.”


Newry Democrat

28th May 2013