A floral artist from Pongaroa who has a special way with flowers and foliage is the 2018 Manawatū Area floral designer of the year.
Heather Monk, a member of the Dannevirke Floral Art Society, won the supreme award in Palmerston North on Friday, as well as the senior section and the award for best use of colour.
She will now go on to represent Manawatū in the national design competition next year.
Fellow Dannevirke floral artist Yukimi Brown won the intermediate section and was runner-up to Monk for the designer of the year title. Brown also won the petite and most creative categories.
And Glenis Bealing took the award for the best use of leaves, using 100 aspidistra leaves in her design.
There were 15 floral designers from clubs around the region entered in the senior section and Joy Charmley, president of the Dannevirke group, said wins by Monk, Brown and Bealing was a huge coup for the small Dannevirke club.
"To have first and second placegetters in the designer of the year is impressive, especially when we were up against designers from much bigger clubs," she said.
The Dannevirke Floral Art Society has 32 members, with six entering the weekend's competition, with its theme of Living with Texture.
The senior section's theme was A French Affair and the judges told Monk, "she had nailed it".
"It apparently stood out," she said. "I'm quite chuffed."
Monk began her floral art work 15 years ago.
"I got busy with life and had to stop for a while and I'm just getting back into it," she said.
Working on her design ideas for a few months, Monk said she googled French affair to come up with some ideas for her design.
"Google showed me old buildings and I thought, old doors, so I asked a friend if he could make me one," she said. "He actually had a 100-year-old door, which was perfect."
Monk's husband David made the stand for her design, but just a week out from the competition she asked him to take it all to pieces and alter it.
But thanks to the vagaries of our spring weather, gathering plant material was difficult.
"We had a huge frost and my garden was annihilated, so I had to go and knock on other people's doors to find what I needed," Monk said.
With 15 people entered in the senior section, there were 15 different interpretations of the theme.
"It was quite interesting to see other people's work," Monk said. "But I enjoyed doing this design because I connected with the themes. Sometimes I just don't and then I find I don't succeed."
Viv Bell, of the Dannevirke group, said the local floral artists did exceptionally well.
"This success is a real biggie for a little place such as Dannevirke. Everyone did brilliantly," she said.
Clubs from Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Whanganui, Marton and Feilding were also represented at the event.