Mike Norman is surely something of a rarity, a male floral art designer, and one who has compiled an extraordinary record to boot.
He and his wife Jan, both members of the Kerikeri Floral Art Group, between them have collected major awards at each of the five world shows they have competed at, in France, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Scotland.
Mike, who has been designing for 42 years, starting in the north of England followed by Scotland, Australia and now New Zealand, was second in the Open Category at the Northland Designer of the Year competition (Razzle Dazzle) in Kerikeri on Friday, his towering study in white featuring lilies, twisted willow and even a sprig or two of carrot weed.
He bested Jan on this occasion, but she won the the Innovative and Creative Award.
The Designer of the Year title was won by Whangārei's Karen Solly, for the second year in succession and the fourth time in 10 years. She also won the Colour Award.
Kaitaia's Lynette Best had a good day too, winning the Novice Section and collecting the Doris Bollschweiler Trophy for the most innovative novice design.
The full results were as follows.
Open (A Flash of Brilliance) — Karen Solly (Whangārei) 1, Mike Norman (Kerikeri) 2, Colleen Sharland (Whangārei) 3.Merit — Rosie Speedy (Whangārei) and Tania Dalbeth-Hudson (Kerikeri).
Senior (Breakthrough) — Laurel Strang (Kerikeri) 1, Enid Sloane (Kerikeri) 2.
Intermediate (Clowning with Colour) — Karen Hawtin (Kerikeri) 1, Angela O'Brien (Kerikeri) 2, Chris Squire (Kerikeri) 3.
Novice (Together in Harmony) — Lynette Best (Kaitaia) 1, Raewyn Dawson (Whangārei) 2, Laurel Sirl (Kerikeri) 3.
Innovative and Creative Award — Jan Norman (Kerikeri).
Colour Award — Karen Solly.
Doris Bollschweiler Award -Lynette Best.