This is entirely subjective, and I realize that this was a class assignment meant to demonstrate a concept/technique, but to me, the second pic seems "backwards". i.e. I would think the flowers would be more visually interesting than the leaves, and so I would've focused on them instead.
Mark, you're right; this was part of our lesson and the aim was to focus on a subject in the foreground and blur the background. Our tutor was also encouraging us to look beyond our chosen subjects for other points of interest and consider other angles to take our shots from – not to just go for the obvious and straight up to an object and photograph it.
I agree; liking/disliking a picture is subjective. I can recall heated discussions about it during my art a-level studies - many moons ago now
My personal favourite between the two is actually the 2nd shot with the ivy, because I felt that there was beauty in the simplicity of the leaves and you can still make out the snowdrops in the background. The snowdrops were the obvious choice in this area, which is what I, (and the rest or our class) headed straight for, but then I noticed the ivy covering a tree in the background and decided to take a different approach.
Especially in the Flowers section of the forum - Mark
I felt that the 2nd picture would be covered under the “…macro (close-up) photography” part of this section, as the insects, spiders and other small things have done.