Iron Florist 2015 Recap!

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Bloompop Partners go shears to shears at the popular Flower Mart festival

Flowers went flying as a lively audience cheered on four top floral designers at this year’s Iron Florist at Flower Mart. We had such a blast working on DC’s first-ever Iron Florist competition that we want to share our recap with those who weren’t able to stop by the Washington National Cathedral grounds this past Saturday. Keep reading to find out who was crowned Iron Florist 2015!

For those unfamiliar with Iron Florist, four of the region’s top floral designers faced off in a shears-to-shears, high-pressure battle of floral design at the main stage of the Washington National Cathedral. Under the watchful eyes of our panel of expert judges, host Melanie Hastings of NewsChannel 8’s “Let’s Talk Live!” and the Flower Mart audience, they had just 20 minutes to design a masterpiece.

Iron Florist 2015 contestants: Alisa Rabinovich of Fleurs Boutique, Mary Beth Buchholz of Free Spirit Floral, Nick Perez of Multiflor, Jeanne Ha of Park Florist

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Mystery flowers are unveiled and designers get to work!

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All-star cast of judges and MC. Laura Dowling explains secret set of flowers. From left to right: Elizabeth Kane, Laura Dowling, Sarah Zlotnick, Melanie Hastings

Anticipation was high as our contestants unveiled their set of secret flowers and began working. In the first few minutes of design, the different florists were already showing off their unique design styles.

Our resident flower expert and judge, former White House Chief Floral Designer and owner of Interieurs et Fleurs Laura Dowling, explained the flowers that the florists had in their buckets: lilac, orchids, hellebores, deutzia, green ball viburnum, cherry, curly willow, ilex foliage, and more. While the florists were busy designing, Melanie engaged judges Sarah Zlotnick, editor-in-chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom; and Elizabeth Kane, DC editor of Ask Miss A. Style and floral design go hand-in-hand, and these two aficionados showed just how floral trends have changed along with fashion and event design.

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Mary Beth Buchholz of Free Spirit Floral with a look of determination

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Alisa Rabinovich of Fleurs Boutique calmly works on her design

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MC Melanie Hastings chats with a member of the crowd

Armed with her microphone, Melanie traversed the Flower Mart audience, chatting with the many family members there to celebrate flowers at the springtime festival.

Shears down! Twenty minutes later, fallen flower petals and leaves were scattered around the florists’ workbenches and ground, and the contestants placed down their tools. Although created from the same flowers, each design was drastically different, reflecting the tastes of the individual designers.

To decide the winner of Audience Favorite, Melanie listened as the audience cheered for each florist. Although difficult to discern among cheers for all the talented florist contestants, Jeanne Ha of Park Florist was (flower!) crowned the winner.

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Jeanne Ha of Park Florist dons her Audience Favorite flower crown

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Judges take a walk around the workbenches to see the florists’ designs

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Flower Mart audience waits with anticipation

And after much deliberation among the three judges, the winner of Iron Florist 2015 was crowned: Nick Perez of Multiflor in Fairfax, VA.

Congratulations to Nick and Jeanne on your Iron Florist champion and Audience Favorite titles!

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Iron Florist 2015 Nick Perez of Multiflor

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Audience swamps the stage

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Mary Beth poses with her beautiful design

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From left to right: Judge Laura Dowling, MC Melanie Hastings, Bloompop Co-Founder and CEO Shavanna Miller

After the decisions were made and winners crowned, the audience rushed to the stage to snap photos of the florists’ designs and chat with the florists themselves. We were happy to see audience members and those onstage interacting, a testament to a shared love for flowers.

Don’t forget to bookmark our blog for more Bloompop news, including future events and specials for our blog readers! With Mother’s Day coming up soon, we’d love to see you #GiveSunshine on our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

More from Bloompop: Tips You Need For Buying Mother’s Day Flowers

Special thanks to All Hallows Guild for coordinating with us for the 76th annual Flower Mart; to our florists, judges, and MC; and to Leon and Carol Carrier at Plant Masters, from where we sourced our all-locally grown competition flowers.

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Iron Florist color logo