Floral by Nature is a micro flower farm on a 104 acre property in the beautiful Kanimbla Valley, Blue Mountains.
Together with their two young children, Celine and her husband Tristan grow a range of annuals – sunflowers, zinnias, celosia, snapdragons, poppies, dahlias and David Austin Roses.
“We have set aside approximately two acres for the flower farm and currently grow on about half an acre,” Celine says.
“The rose garden has 80 different varieties, many David Austin’s which we will continue to expand each year. Our sunflower patch has been a huge hit this year so we’re looking forward to having another big patch next season.
“We have many new varieties of Dahlias this year and have enjoyed the excitement of seeing the new ones blooming for the first time.
“I have a deep passion and appreciation for flowers ever since I can remember,” Celine.
Why do you grow flowers?
I grow flowers because nothing gives me as much pleasure, satisfaction and excitement as nurturing a little seed into a beautiful bloom or planting an ugly tuber and watching it grow into a stunning Dahlia and let’s not forget that first sniff of a Spring Rose or how happy a Sunflower can make you feel.
I left school as soon as I could, to become a florist and soon after I studied horticulture so I could learn how to grow them. I have been working with flowers ever since. It sounds a little corny but I feel a real connection with flowers.
What’s involved in cultivating these flowers
We grow most annuals from seed and use no pesticides or synthetic chemicals on them. We improve our soil health with local certified organic cow manure.
We use organic pest control methods including a nightly hunt for snails! Tedious but true! By day we weed, water, sow seeds, and harvest & arrange flowers with our 2 kidlets Indi 4.5 and Koen 3. There is always a never ending list of jobs to do!
What’s your offering to the public?
We sell to our local community. We offer weekly flower subscriptions, wedding flowers, some edibles/cake flowers and deliveries of bouquets.
We are in full bloom from Summer to Autumn, when all Summer annuals, Dahlias and Roses are flowering.
What are your biggest farming challenges?
What I find challenging is getting the timing of all the plantings just perfect so that I have enough of every element (focal flowers, filler, etc) for each bouquet. I now have a rule that I’m trying to stick to which is, that I must sow seeds at least once a week. That way I always have something growing. It’s really easy to get so busy with the harvesting and arranging that you forget to keep sowing seeds.
There’s also days I find the workload very challenging with our two little ones making their own demands on me.
What is your farming philosophy / strategy
To start with optimum soil health which means lots of preparation- we are lucky to have access to certified organic cow manure which we use a lot of. Good soil health=healthy flowers.
I also believe flowers grown with love are more beautiful and full of life than any mass produced, heavily sprayed flowers you see in the supermarkets, which have no life to them! We stand by our motto ‘Grown and arranged with love’ which can be seen on our logo. Our flowers are nurtured with so much love and care before they are big enough to harvest and sell.
What do you find challenging about life as a flower farmer?
I love the change of seasons, always having some new flower or plant to look forward to but I have to say Winter is a tad challenging as a Flower Farmer. When the flowering season all comes to an end and the cold and grey takes over. Saying goodbye to the Dahlias and watching everything die down after the first frost….
“It all makes me feel a bit down knowing I have to wait months before I can play with flowers again,” Celine.
Favourite floral stylist / designer
We have so many talented floral designers here in Australia. One of my favourites would have to be Anna from Goose Berry Hill Flowers. I love her style!