Yetholm floral designer hopes to bloom at Chelsea

Elizabeth Forster. Scottish Association of Flower Arranger Societies
Elizabeth Forster. Scottish Association of Flower Arranger Societies

Flower arranger Elizabeth Forster is one of only nine from Scotland to create a 17ft-high exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show.

The prize-winning floral designer from Yetholm left for London on Tuesday to join the Scottish Association of Flower Arranger Societies’ team to construct the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies’ (NAFAS) Grand Pavilion showpiece.

Elizabeth said: “I was extremely honoured to be picked from all the members in Scotland. It’s a great experience – it’s something all flower arrangers want to do. I’m very excited.”

Different regions take turns in creating the NAFAS exhibit for the prestigious flower show – and it is 21 years since the Scottish association last made the floral contribution.

Elizabeth said: “We are lucky to be doing this in Chelsea’s centenary year.”

The exhibit, Far Below the Sea Blooms, taken from Ode to the West Wind by Percy Shelley, will be 20ft by 20ft and 17ft high.

The focal areas will replicate underwater cathedrals and coral reefs, and the exhibit will be made of sustainable materials such as seaweed and bamboo, as well as plants from three of Scotland’s four botanic gardens.

Woodside Garden Centre near Jedburgh is also supplying plants, Hawick Upholstery made the canvas base for the exhibit and Dobbies chief executive James Barnes, who lives near Yetholm, has also sponsored the venture. BBC2 has filmed a trial run of the exhibit to be screened tomorrow.