KATHERINE Howard is ready to show off the state’s florist skills to the nation.
The 21-year-old, of Hadspen, left Launceston yesterday to contest the International Melbourne Flower and Garden Show, where she has been selected to vie for the florist apprentice of the year for Victoria and Tasmania.
The Florist on David florist is the only Northern Tasmanian to be a finalist in the competition, which will be held on Saturday.
‘‘I’m very excited and nervous,’’ Miss Howard said.
‘‘I’ve never participated in anything like this before.
‘‘I’ve ordered all my flowers and things so they’ll be there waiting for me.’’
Miss Howard will have one hour on Saturday to put together a large corporate arrangement, similar to what you would see in a hotel or restaurant.
‘‘I’m hoping I can do plenty of preparation beforehand,’’ she said.
The flower and garden show officially starts today, which will give Miss Howard time to look at other displays.
She said family from Tasmania and Victoria, including her grandparents, would attend the show.
‘‘They’re all very proud of me,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m going to have a whole cheer squad.’’
Miss Howard started working as a florist 2 years ago.
She finished her three-year apprenticeship in two years, making her eligible for this year’s competition.
Miss Howard said she got her creativeness from her mother, who is an art teacher, and was the first florist in the family.
Her favourite flowers are orchids.
‘‘They’re a bit unusual and a bit more exotic than other flowers,’’ she said.