How did you get into flowers?
It’s a question I get often. Usually my answer is this: My office job was too boring as hell, so I left. And now I do this!
But let’s go a lil deeper - why do I love working with flowers?? Where did that all come from??
When I was a tiny kid, the age where you need constant entertainment, my Mum would play a game with us. We called it Challenge. Mum would give us tasks like ‘Find a leaf with spots on it.’ ‘Find a red flower.’ ‘Find a curvy twig.’ ‘Find a flower with more than 6 petals.’
And looking back on it, it was a clever way for her to get two minutes of peace.. Until my siblings and I came back and delivered a pile of nature stuff into her lap.
I think that was the start of me becoming such a visual person. Learning better from colours and shapes, leaning towards arts over maths, diving into painting and design and even mapping as I progressed through school to uni.
So that was factor #1 - being observant and visually-focused.
(It comes in handy outside of Bloomsday too - I am VERY GOOD at finding coins on the street.)
So why not painting? Or mapping, the most visual part of an environmental science degree?
Factor #2 - a love for plants + flowers. This is a childhood origin story too.
There were days when I’d follow Mum around the garden as she dead-headed roses, weeded, or picked flowers for a friend. She would tell me all the names, help me notice scents or shapes. We would make ‘float bowls’ - petals and blooms floating in a water-filled salad bowl. The six-year-old version of my current vase arrangements, you could say.
I’d follow my Dad around as he trimmed the hedges, raking up pittosporum.
My siblings and I would hide in the treehouse amongst cherry blossoms and buzzing bees. We would sneak to the vege garden to snack on beans or sugar snaps when we were supposed to be waiting for dinner.
Funnily enough, I avoided biology at high school, but fell in love with it when I had to take it at uni. I learnt about the different types of cells in plants, the different plant forms and how they work, how to identify all sorts of natives. And probably a whole lot more that I’ve forgotten.
So bringing together a deep knowledge and love of all things plants, plus a keen eye for colour and texture? Floristry fits me like a glove.
My Mum, schools or uni - blame who you like. I love creating stuff with flowers every day, and delivering bouquets all around Auckland. Bloomsday is here to stay, so you’re stuck with me.