Floral ambition

By Mark Elson in Local People

A YOUNG florist from Lydney has received the mayor’s civic aw­ard to further her studies.

Julie Sparkes, aged 17, attends Gloucestershire College at Five Acres, where she is about to complete a Level Three art and design course. She is also a member of Lydney and Severnside Flower Club.

Julie said: “I began flower arranging when I was about seven, when I took part in the children’s section of Bream Gardening Society’s annual show. I met Marina Lambert there and started to enter the floral novice section, which I won in 2011. In the same year I started entering their chrysanthemum show, again in the novice section. The following year I went into the main floristry section of both shows, which I have continued with ever since, as well as entering Parkend and Newnham shows.

“Each year on the judges’ comments cards, I would drop points on the smallest of things. On the notice board at the chrysanthemum show in 2015 there was a poster for classes with Alwyn Page, who is the floristry judge for the show. Marina highly recommended them and so I went along to what was then a six week course of leisure classes doing flowers for christmas. A year and a half later I’m still going and have noticed a great improvement; at Bream’s 2016 summer show I won the cup for the most points in the floristry section as well as the cup for best use of garden plant material.”

Julie will use the award of £200 for fees, travel and materials for a Level Three floristry course in funeral arrangements in Gloucester.

“I’d really like to thank the mayor of Lydney as well as Marina and Alwyn for their support.” Julie added. “Whether floristry becomes a full-time job or remains a hobby I don’t know yet, although I will continue taking part in flower festivals and local competitions.”

The other recipient of the mayor’s civic award this year was Charles Heaman who will use the award for uniform and equipment to attend the English National Ballet School in London.

Lydney Mayor, Bob Berryman said: “Congratulations to you both. I am pleased to have been able to support you both and wish you continued success in your chosen professions.”

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