Florist hoping to be named the best in England

Mark Westley Photography'Samantha French, runs Wild Poppies florists, winner of the East of England award in national wedding awards. ANL-140912-185437009
Mark Westley Photography'Samantha French, runs Wild Poppies florists, winner of the East of England award in national wedding awards. ANL-140912-185437009

A florist from Long Melford is hoping for national success after being named the best in the East at a national wedding awards ceremony.

Samantha French, who runs a florist business from her home in Bull Lane, Long Melford, was announced as the regional winner in the Wedding Industry Awards at a ceremony in King Lynn.

The 43-year-old has run her own business, Wild Poppies, for three years, having been in the trade for 15 years.

Having been selected as the winner in a public vote and by a panel of industry experts, the mother-of-two said she was delighted to pick up the award.

“It was fantastic,” she said. “The florists there were amazing – the standard was so high.”

Mrs French will now go on to the national final in London in January, when she will be judged by those at the top of their field, including Shane Connolly, the director of flowers at the wedding of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

It will be a test of Mrs French’s skills, but one she sees as a great opportunity.

“Hopefully, I’ll get recognised and get my name out there,” she said, adding that she would be thrilled to be named as the winner, but was just happy to have picked up her regional accolade.

“It’s nice when the customers know you are a regional winner,” she said.