Academy of Floral Art

Our Mission Statement “Providing excellence with passion and integrity.”

Julie Collins and Tina Parkes established the Academy of Floral Art in 2008 to create a unique training experience in Floristry and Flower Arranging and created courses both for beginners of floristry, professional floristry development and for recreational enjoyment.

As well as offering our own Academy high spec courses we are also a City & Guilds centre of training enabling us to offer professionally recognised qualifications from level 2 up to masters, level 5. Our main courses are delivered at our studio which is set in a beautiful, inspirational location in Dunchideock just outside Exeter. Plus we hold classes in Bristol, Totnes, Exeter and Newton Abbot, Devon.

In all the courses we aim to provide you with a complete experience, that depending on your requirements will address the following: -train you to become a florist, provide academic and career development, create connections and friendships, have fun and creativity in a relaxed and friendly environment.


Meet the team

Julie Collins (Principle) BTec ND, ICSF,Cert Ed, City & Guilds MDPF (Level 5 English Master), Institute of Professional Florists (IoPF) Academic Fellow

Julie started her career in the Bank but found there was a limit to how creative you could be with a bag of coins, so in 1994 she undertook her training to be a Florist, which lead her to become a Floristry teacher for Bicton College for twelve years, whilst also running a successful Wedding Flower business. She has completed her Master Diploma in Professional Floristry and is proud to have been awarded the BFA (British Floristry Association) top student in both practical and theory, which is a rare achievement. She really enjoyed the creative challenge and design development the level 5 course gave her and loves passing her enthusiasm on to her students.

She enjoys delivering the level 2 and 3 courses and seeing the students progress and make beautiful designs. The recreational classes put her design skills to the test, as each week she creates new up to date designs for the students to explore. She also enjoys demonstrating and workshops.

Tina Parkes (Principle) NDSF, FBFA, CERT ED, Dutch Master, AIFD, LCGI, IOPF Academic Fellow, MDPF (British Master)

Tina started working in the Floristry industry when she was 16 and within her career has managed a Floristry shop, in Exmouth then become Head of the Floristry School at Bicton College where she also taught for 10 years. In 2002 Tina took two years out to move to the Netherlands to study the Dutch Masters in Floristry, she is currently the only English Florist holding this qualifications and it has enabled Tina to originally pilot the Higher Diploma in Floristry, level 4.

She has also been a consultant to other colleges around the country on professional qualifications. Tina has demonstrated and held workshops all over the country including working with a team of top Floral Designers in America and whilst out there took and passed her American Institute of Floral designers qualification.

Amanda Randell (Teaching and Head of Marketing and PR) LCGI, City & Guilds MDPF (British Master), Institute of Professional Floristry IoPF Academic Fellow and CFD

Amanda is based near Tavistock and when she is not working as a freelance floral designer from her workshop at home, she teaches Level 2 professional floristry and recreational floristry for the Academy.  Amanda originally trained in London with ‘Moyses Stevens’ in Barclay Square, London, which has a prized Royal Warrant, and then spent 5 years in Paris with Disney.  For 6 years she owned an award winning flower shop in Tavistock, Devon but in 2009 sold it to become a freelancer to concentrate purely on weddings and continue her floral studies.

To develop her skills she applied to the college in 2010 to complete level 4 and then level 5 with Tina Parkes and completed the Master Training program with the Academy.  ‘The course was the best thing I ever did with regard to my experience and ability to run a successful business.  The experience also opened my eyes to the world of floral design and the industry as a whole.”  Amanda joined the Academy teaching team in 2012 and is passionate about promoting the industry and its opportunities to all like minded florists.

In 2014, encouraged by the Academy she won a place at the coveted RHS Chelsea Flower Show and achieved a Gold medal.  In 2016, Amanda signed up to the Academy’s American programme and visit to the AIFD Symposium ‘Inspiration’ in Anaheim, California where she took and passed her American masters. In July 2017 she will be awarded the AIFD nomination.

Kathryn Delve (Teaching and Social Media) HDIF (BSC Hons), ACIB, Institute of Professional Floristry Senior Member, AFA level 3, City & Guilds HDF level 4 and CFD.

Kathryn Delve has her own wedding and event business based in North Somerset, and teaches our level 2 course at Country Baskets Bristol.  Kathryn’s floristry education started at Weston-super-Mare College back in 2003 and she continued her love of flowers by gaining work experience in her local florist shop and becoming a National Association Flower Arranging Society member as well as studying at the Academy of Floral Art. Kathryn worked for a bank for 27 years and during this time she had numerous roles such as relationship manager for high network customer, marketing training for managers, recruitment and regional support manager.

After choosing redundancy from the bank Kathryn decided to make floristry her full time career and joined the Academy of Floral Art as a level 3 student, Kathryn gained a distinction in her level 3 advanced floristry exam and has now suggessfully completed her City & Guilds Level 4 floristry course with the Academy too. Kathryn competed and gained 1st place in the Manchester heat of the Floristry world skills competition 2013, and was a member of the Academy of Floral Art’s Hampton court team 2013 (the team were awarded an RHS silver medal).  In 2014 Kathryn was part of our Water Air team and organised the Bristol demonstration raising £1900 towards the £7000 total for Water Aid UK.

In 2016 Kathryn gained her Higher Diploma in Floristry (level 4 City & Guilds) through the Academy and also passed her American masters AIFD.

Jen Mills (Teaching Academy tasters and level 1) Masters’ degree from the Royal College of Art in London, Institute of Professional Floristry Senior Member, Floristry Level 2, AFA level 3

Jen Mills is a freelance florist and started her floral journey in 2011 by embarking on her Level 2 qualification and has since gone on to complete both Level 2 and 3, and now works as a freelance florist and part-time freelance tutor teaching the level 1 for the Academy of Floral Art.

With a background in 3d design and a Masters’ degree from the Royal College of Art in London, Jen now combines her lifelong passion for plants and flowers with her love of colour, texture and form. The result is a floral design which is very often botanical and vegetative in its influences.