A RIBCHESTER florist made a blooming good impression on judges when she took part in the Southport Flower Show.

Freelance florist Sara Collinge, 47, collected two trophies at the prestigious event after coming first in both her competition entries.

The former owner of The Carmen Rose Tearooms, Ribchester, scooped the top spots in the categories entitled, Welcome Aboard and A Beach Wedding.

The mother-of-one, who lives with her fiance Carl Barrow, said floristry was in her blood as her mother Joanna had been a keen gardener and flower arranger.

She said: “Every time I have flowers in my hand I feel closer to my mum.

"I have had an amazing couple of months considering I only starting floristry four years ago.

“I couldn’t believe it when I went to collect the prizes. I wasn’t expecting to win let alone come home with two valuable and historic trophies.”

To win the first competition Sara designed a boat made entirely out of fresh flowers and plant material.

“I even named the boat Samantha, after my daughter, and added an anchor and a gangplank to welcome people on board.” she added.

And for the beach wedding she designed five wedding pieces, including a bridesmaid’s handbag, a chair back and a pair of bright orange flipflops with flowers on.

Sara ran a Gift Shop in Moor Lane, Clitheroe, for 20 years before opening The Carmen Rose Tearooms four years ago.

Whilst working at the tearooms she enrolled on a floral design course at Myerscough College and after graduating with a distinction she a launched floristry business.

She sold the tearooms in June and launched her new business, Flowers With Passion.

She added: “This is a fresh start for me and I’m absolutely passionate about flowers. I feel I’ve finally found my true vocation.”

Attracting around 80,000 visitors, the four day event is the largest independent flower show in the UK.

David Jackson, chief executive of the show said: “Sara has done incredibly well.”