Bonnie King balances life in the city as a florist with flower farming in the country. After studying Visual Arts she finally found flowers to be the perfect expression for her creativity.
The Farmer’s Daughter, Melbourne and Flowerdale
How would you describe your style?
I have a natural and organic style toward floristry, with the goal of working with the natural shape of flowers. I love working with different textures and colours, incorporating a combination of foliage’s, nuts and berries throughout my designs.
Your approach to creating a piece / arrangement.
The flowers themselves guide me. Working with local, seasonal blooms means the product is always at its freshest when I receive it. I take my time to unpack everything from market, to get to know the produce, to read how the flowers are developing and changing in the day leading up to an event.
Starting is always the hardest part but after the first few stems everything comes together. I like to listen to music as it always helps me to relax and not overthink things. This is where I deliver my best work.
Was it always flowers for you?
Creativity has always been a huge part of my life. I focused on photography for many years and studied Arts & Visual Arts at university before realising floristry was the medium that allowed me to express my creativity best.
I admired a beautiful local florist in Hawthorn (Canary Jane’s Flowers) for some time and developed a friendship with Owner and Senior Florist Rebecca. She was so energetic and passionate it was contagious! I had so much fun creating with her guidance that I began working with her as a Junior Assistant – the rest is history!
Growing up in the city and spending a lot of time at our family property I enjoyed the many rewards of working on the land. After joining the team at Canary Jane’s, I developed a real passion for the process of planning and executing events, particularly weddings. Looking for a challenge, I decided that event planning and my dedication to the family farm really worked hand in hand.
I am focussed on the use of locally grown seasonal blooms in all my work; and in the background, I continue to experiment with various varieties at the farm with the dream of being able to fully supply all my event flowers.
How do you stay inspired?
With my background in Visual Art, galleries are always a huge point of inspiration for me and travel is a great way to see what artists and florists around the world are creating. I recently travelled to Japan and came across inspiring local florists tucked away in the back streets of Tokyo. I am excited to come home and prepare for the upcoming wedding season with these concepts in mind.
Where do you source your flowers?
All blooms and foliage I use are locally grown and seasonal. Some grown at our farm in Flowerdale which allows me to ensure a beautiful long-lasting result with minimal environmental footprint.
Local, field grown flowers?
This is a huge part of my practice.
There is nothing better than local seasonal blooms; they have less distance to travel, meaning they are fresher and have less impact on the environment.
Buying locally and supporting local farmers is integral to my philosophy.Bonnie King
Here in Victoria we have such amazing access to so many wonderful varieties with our fabulous climate for field grown blooms.
Other sustainable practices?
I take every step to minimise waste from my work. I avoid oasis foam, all plastics from market are reused for packaging in transport of the events, my paper is recycled and green waste is composted. Green waste is also kept to a minimum through careful ordering; meaning there is no stock wastage.
Tips to brides who are in the planning stages?
You don’t have to know every flower variety in the world, that’s my job! It is good to have an idea of the shape, size and look that you are after – and just as importantly what you DON’T like.
Most memorable gig?
I was lucky enough to plan a wedding at the National Gallery of Victoria, one of my favourite places in the world. The wedding was in the sculpture garden, but due to unscheduled garden redevelopment, the ceremony was moved into one of the main internal gallery spaces.
This event then became one of the most challenging for me given the precautions that we needed to take bringing fresh flowers into the gallery space. I researched the best, organic products to use to control any insects or bugs without effecting the quality of the blooms, as well as intensive preparation for installation alongside some of the world’s most expensive art. We were escorted through the gallery space by security at all times which was both very exciting and very scary!
The whole things ran very smoothly given the preparation that I put in prior to the day, and the Bride and Groom were thrilled with the result.