Eurofleurs 2017, the European Championship for Young Florists!

10 brilliant young designers.
50 exquisite championship arrangements.
5 monumental locations, decorated florally.

Eurofleurs 2017, Belgium, offered a tremendous amount of flower power – in a uniquely charming setting!


Competing in the junior edition of the European Championship, held from September 15-18, were 10 of the continent’s most talented young florists. 

This competition is the most coveted floristry competition in Europe for the under 25’s. The Eurofleurs Competition takes place only once every four years and is not for the faint hearted; spread out over 2 days competitors tackled 5 difficult assignments where their amazing flower arrangement skills were put on display.

Belgium’s Queen Mathilde with UK competitor Louisa Cooper


The European Championship for Young Florists is held in a different country about every 4 years. Florint, the International Florist Organisation, supervises the contest, while one of our member associations is chosen to organise it. In 2017, that was the Royal Union of Belgian Florists (KUFB/URFB), who did a wonderful job. Even Belgium’s Queen Mathilde herself came by, to admire the show!

Louisa Cooper flew the flag for the UK

Louisa is no stranger to competition work as she has previously represented the country at the WorldSkills competition in São Paulo in August 2015 the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world. Eurofleurs was a different experience as it's an event dedicated to Floristry.

Louisa has been a busy girl in 2017 having already successfully competed in RHS Chelsea Young Florist of the Year competition 2017 winning a Silver-Gilt Medal. She also took part in the heats of the UK Florist of the Year Competition held at BBC Gardener's World Live.

Louisa who works at the School Farm Shop in the West Midlands, trained at South Staffordshire College who encouraged her to enter the competitions. Her competitive work was taken to a new level after winning a Bronze Medal in the finals of the UK Worldskills competition held at The Skills Show in Birmingham NEC, after that success in November 2014, she went on to compete for a place in the Squad for Team UK for WorldSkills São Paulo 2015, where Louisa was given exceptional training. She has also worked as one of WorldSkills UK Champions - a growing network of inspiring young professionals, who have competed in a WorldSkills UK National Final and act as inspirational role models for future generations of apprentices and young people.

When speaking about competitions Louisa explained  "I believe competitions are such an important learning source for gaining knowledge and experience in the floristry industry. The British Floristry Association organize so many wonderful competitions year round, it's hard not to enter all of them. I am so looking forward to competing for my country again this year in Eurofleurs 2017, where i hope to make my country proud." We know that Louisa is an excellent ambassador and competitor for the UK we'll be following her preparation and will bring you more information.

Louisa follows in the footsteps of Sophie Watton who went on to compete in the historic city of Split, the coastal town  in Croatia in September 2013. 

The tasks and themes:

The participating young florists had to envision, and beautifully execute, 5 works: an installation with flowers and plants; a floral cake; a bridal bouquet; a body decoration, and a surprise “let’s go wild” hand-tied bouquet.

Many of the assignments allowed for preparation at home. However, the last 2 had to be performed live on stage, in a historic cathedral, in front of a big audience. Excitement guaranteed!


Task 1: Adam and Eve’s sins
The flower arrangement represents Adam and Eve who cannot resist the temptation of the apple.

Louisa's Design

The talented Gábor Nagy from Hungary won the first round, impressing the jury tremendously with his floral installation. The theme, here, was “the sins of Adam & Eve”: the piece had to symbolize the biblical temptation of the forbidden fruit, and prominently use tree branches as well as fruit:

Task 2: When flowers meets fruit
The flower arrangement must represent a cake that is the centrepiece of a large dessert buffet at a wedding.

Louisa's Designs


The winner of task 2 was Belgium’s celebrated talent Sören van Laer, with his captivating, soft-colour cake design. It would have been the eye-catcher at any wedding buffet, which was exactly the assignment:

Task 3: Indian summer wedding
The design is the embodiment of the sun’s warm rays and beauty of a late summer or early autumn.

Round 3 was about making ‘Indian summer wedding’ bridal bouquets. This was clearly a type of arrangement our young florists excelled at! High marks were given by the members of the jury to many of the impressive pieces.

Louisa's Design

Receiving the highest total score of all the arrangements made for Eurofleurs 2017. This was the bridal bouquet by Finnish competitor Heli Haapatalo: marvellous both for the originality of its shape, the perfection of its design work, and its clever take on the IndianSummer theme:

Final assignments 4 and 5 were performed live on stage, on a catwalk, as part of an evening of entertainment organised by Belgian florist association KUFB. The European Championship took place at the ‘Minderbroederssite’, a monumental 13th century monastery site in Sint-Truiden, in Belgium’s northeast. 

What an incredible location


Task 4: Fruit queen
This flower arrangement is a body decoration made from flowers and fruit to show the importance of the fruit sector for Sint-Truiden.

The full details were given on the day, our young florists had to make a ‘Fruit Queen’ body adornment, which had to cleverly fit in fruit alongside flowers. 

Louisa's Design

Belgian competitor Sören van Laer was clearly in his element here, however. He won this round by designing a well-executed Gloriosa dress, and a delightful hat to go along with it.

Task 5: Surprise piece

When it was time to design the surprise bouquets, it was already around 11 in the evening. Our young competitors had 2 days of gruelling work behind them, and the exhaustion was showing on their faces. But they managed to keep their heads together and score high marks, nonetheless. 

An impressive feat! In the end, the jury felt that the passionate bouquet by Finland’s Heli Haapatalo did the best job at capturing the spirit of “let’s go wild”. See for yourself, here:

The results

First place: Gábor Nagy, the Hungarian prodigy, had outdone his 9 young colleagues!

From left to right: 2nd Belgium's Sören van Laer, 1st Hungary's Gábor Nagy, 3rd Findland's Heli Haapatalo

Gábor Nagy's win is a sensational achievement, plus a big compliment for Hungary. Which has not only produced more Eurofleurs winners than any other nation, but also is the home country of the reigning senior European Champion: Tamás Mezőffy. 

Audience favourite Sören van Laer finished in second place, making his home country Belgium rightly proud. Third place in the European Championship for Young Florists 2017 was awarded to Ms. Heli Haapatalo. The young Finnish contender also received a special prize for the most innovative arrangement work, in honour of the recently deceased and highly celebrated Belgian florist Stijn Simaeys.

The full results table

(Please note that the points in the columns marked “t.” represent penalties applied by the judges. The deductions are in percentage points).

Participation in Eurofleurs

One young florist (born after 17 September 2001) from each of Florint’s member countries is allowed to take part in Eurofleurs. The contestants are nominated by our member organisations: the national florist associations.

The judging of Eurofleurs 2017

Jury president Thomas Ratschker and his certified European floristry judges faced a daunting assignment, quite like the young florists did. Evaluating 50 complex floral arrangements on all their technical and aesthetic merits is far from an easy task. Both his team, and the members of the Technical Committee headed up by our BFA Manager Tracy Tomlinson, supporting them, did a remarkable job. Florint wish to thank all of them for their hard work, as volunteers no less!

A thank you from Florint

Many people have worked tremendously hard to make Eurofleurs 2017 a success. They are too many to name, in fact. But we do want to take this moment to express heartfelt thanks to our most important partners and sponsors: AgoraEuroveilingSmithers-OasisFlorismartthe city of Sint-TruidenTourism Sint-Truidenthe province of Limburg and We could not have done it without your help!

About the Eurofleurs competition

Florint organizes the European Championship for Young Florists since 1998, roughly every 4 years. The competition is second in importance only to our famous Europa Cup championship, for senior florists, which also takes place every 4 years. The two championships alternate: one of the two is organized about every 2 years.

Eurofleurs helps compare the abilities of young florists from all over Europe and, through friendly rivalry, stimulates their professional creativity immensely. It also allows them to take their first steps on an international stage, which helps to broaden horizons. Many of the involved florists go on to become internationally acclaimed designers and demonstrators: a testament to the importance of championships like these.

Of course, the European floristry championships also promote the flower sector and floral arts to the international public, something Florint consider very important as well!

More information can be found at

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