word from the wise: how to choose the perfect bunch of blooms with north st botanical florist

by Jasmine Wallis

Do you never know which flowers to buy for your grandmother’s birthday? Or what blooms would best show your partner how much you appreciate all that they do for you? Never fear, because we spoke to Emily from North St Botanical Florist in Melbourne to find the perfect way to express your feelings with flora.

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Snap by Alice Johnson

What’s your favourite thing about working with flowers? Every single day is different. The flowers change every day, and we get deliveries every second day. Seasons change all the time, so you’re constantly excited about what’s coming in or could be coming in. Every year there are new varieties coming through and it’s ever-changing. It’s the only thing that’s kept my attention for this long.

Do different flowers have different meanings? Historically, there’s yellow rose for friendship, for example – and if you’re into that you can create a bouquet based around all the meanings. But what resonates with me the most is what individual people get from flowers; what kind of emotions they have connected to specific flowers because their grandmother used to grow them; or what they used to smell on their walk to school.

What determines the cost of a bunch? Market price. If I get a super-cheap bucket of peonies, I’ll sell them super-cheap; it really depends what the growers are charging. It’s like a fish at a fishmonger, it changes every week.

What are some insiders tips and tricks for keeping your flowers fresher for longer? Change the water every two to three days. Re-cut your stems on an angle, so when they hit the bottom of the vase they still uptake. Anything woody likes an extra split up the stem for more water uptake. Don’t put any sugars, bleach, or aspirins in! That’s not in nature, nor is it in the soil. Just change the water, re-cut the stems, keep your flowers away from direct sun, and, of course, you can talk to them, too.

How would you suggest someone turn floristry from a hobby into a career? I studied at TAFE. I think that gives you a really good groundwork for your skills. Whether or not a florist requires you to have TAFE experience depends on the florist you want to work at, and what sort of floristry you want to be doing. You can do big events like weddings or weekly flowers for cafés – there are so many different areas.

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Snaps by Free the Bird Photography

What flowers would you recommend for:

Your best friend’s engagement party?

I’m going to assume… your best friend is an outgoing person in their early 30s, who loves peonies as well as moody textural tones, but unfortunately is having her engagement party in March so they are unavailable.

I would suggest going for a bunch of blended darker pinks to burgundy David Austin roses, dark smoke bush foliages, flowering pink brunia, dark millet and some burgundy pom pom dahlias for fun.

A grandmother’s birthday?

I’m going to assume… grandma loves her garden but has recently moved and can no longer get her hands dirty.

I would mix beautiful hydrangea, flowering clethra and gardenias – simple and beautiful.

Someone’s partner’s promotion at work?

I’m going to assume… they got a promotion at an architectural firm, and that they loves hiking on the weekend and getting outdoors.

I would suggest going for some beautiful sculptural yellow banksia praemorsa, bronze haze leucadendrons, copper beech, dollar gum and, to top it off, an amazing white king protea.

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Snap by Free the Bird Photography

Visit North St Botanical’s website or Instagram to check out their amazing floral creations.

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