Students compete in the 4 Floral event

Reagan Weaver, with three of the bouquets she created as part of the competition.

Courtesy of Katelyn Hua

Reagan Weaver, with three of the bouquets she created as part of the competition.

What do you think of when you hear the word floral?

Now, what do you think when you hear the word competition?

The two images you had in your head most likely contradict themselves. However, for 18-year-old Reagan Weaver, they were the same thing.

Getting up at 3:30 am the morning of Jan. 9, Reagan got up that morning as her alarm blared over and over, even though it seemed like the sun had only just gone down.

She quickly went to her closet and grabbed the hanging pair of jeans and her long-sleeved shirt, which read “rodeo”. Then got dressed in her black leggings and red Texas Tech University sweatshirt and drove to her high school.

When she arrived at TWHS, it was 4 a.m., and she got into a school car headed up to Coppell, Texas. This three-and-a-half-hour drive was for the 4 Floral Competition, where she sat alongside her teammate Hailey Higginbotham.

The 4 Floral competition was a one-day competition with four different rounds. Over half of the contestants would be eliminated as they moved on to the next round based on their performance in creating the instructed floral arrangement.

On the way to the competition, both Reagan and Hailey talked about the past arrangements that they had each made. Hailey was a teammate, but also someone Regan would be competing against. Yet Reagan said, “we encourage and support each other despite still technically being competitors.” She also states that her team has “built a little family that revolves around a passion for arranging flowers and I think it’s wonderful.”

Pictured L to r – Reagan Weaver, Katelyn Hua, Madeline Kelly, and Hailey Higgenbotham in Coppell on Jan. 9. (Courtesy of Rachel Kinkaid)

This devotion to the art Reagan and Hailey share is seen in how they love how they can freely “express creativity” in their floral arrangements.

Reagan says she has “a lot of fun working with new types of flowers,” which allows her to take creativity to new heights.

Yet as she was walking into the competition, Reagan was a little nervous; before she knew it, the first round of the competition had begun. In this first round, each person competing was given a list of costs of different materials and a hypothetical budget of $27. Then, based on the budget, they had to rush to create an arrangement that fits within the budgeted amount.

However, this did not shake her. She said she “worked on budgeting before, which made the budgeting aspect that much less scary.”

Alongside selecting flowers within the budget, they were allowed to pick a pot for their arrangement. Reagan chose a purple sugar holder because she liked how “the pot…allowed [her] to incorporate the lid.”

Then before she knew it, her 30 minutes were up, and the judges came around to determine who would be eliminated. Reagan nervously monitored the judges as they examined every arrangement repeatedly. Then 20 minutes later, they announced the contestants that would move on. To her joy, they announced “Reagan Weaver number 29  from TheWoodlands High School,” revealing her as one of the lucky contestants to move on. But unfortunately, while Reagan had moved on, half of her team had been eliminated.

During the second round, the prompt was announced as arranging a Vase of Dozen Roses by the guidelines of the Texas State Florists Association. Reagan said that she “was clueless.” Her confusion was understandable because she said she “had never heard of one and wasn’t sure what it was supposed to look like.”

Yet she said, “given my prior knowledge of basic floral design, I knew the lengths the roses should be above the vase rim. I also applied my knowledge by filling out empty spaces.” And this quick thinking and prior knowledge are what helped her to move on to round three.

The next task was to create a bridal bouquet. This was something that Reagan also had no experience in; however, she didn’t let it rattle her nerves. Using the flowers given, she also opted for a more complex design using a wedding bouquet holder. She assembled her bouquet with pink and green flowers utilizing her knowledge of complementary colors.

However, as she waited, Reagan said, “I wasn’t feeling as confident as I had the past two rounds.” And while she did make it to the top 15, she did not advance to the next round.

Yet while many may be in despair due to the loss, Reagan said that she was still pleased with the results and that she “would totally attend another event.” While she was also stated how she very excited to be able “to get to advance my skills in arrangement and in teamwork.” Remarking on that how even though she knows “we are here to build arrangements, I still love the team building and bonding.”

At the end of the day, a truckload of flowers were returned to the highschool. (Courtesy of Katelyn Hua)

She also said that while she is “not going into the floral industry for a career, I am still happy to learn valuable skills such as learning how to work as a team, cooperation, communication and time management,” Weaver said.

So, while many may think the word floral and the word competition may not go together for Regan Weaver, they are a perfect balance.