Flower farm Wild Blooms recently opened business selling organic flower bouquets to florists and individuals across Yass Valley and Canberra.
The woman behind the flowers, Karen Whitcombe, operates out of her property in Murrumbateman.
Interior designer by trade, Karen is experienced in both gardening and landscape design.
“Always been a gardener, always been keen to grow flowers and my produce and that’s just never left me,” she said.
Karen studied floristry during a stint living in Brisbane and said it was lovely working as a florist.
After renovating and re-landscaping several properties over the years, Karen settled in Murrumbateman to be closer to family.
“This is the first time I’ve attended a flower garden or flower farm,” she said. “But, there’s not a lot of difference [to floristry and gardening].”
Karen said she had to learn about succession planting and the floristry market in Canberra.
Entirely organic, the grandmother of five grows her flowers from seeds to greenhouse and finally to flower beds in a paddock nearby.
The next step for Wild Blooms is expanding their number of flower beds so there’s a whole bed for each type of flower Karen said.
She uses organic compost from Landtasia Compost near Braidwood, which is made entirely from food waste but plans to make her own in time.
Focusing on the organic and seasonal flower market in Canberra, Karen said she thinks the town really embraces the organic market.
Karen only prepares freshly picked flowers that go from garden to vase to cool room and are delivered either that day or the next.
Compared to the largely imported flower market in Australia, Karen said her flowers are of higher quality with a longer vase life because they’re organic and grown outside.
“The whole grown not flown principle, which is very, very big in America,” she said. The slow flower movement has gained momentum after COVID-19 disrupted international markets.
The movement has shifted the focus from expensive and exotic blooms to local and sustainable alternatives. This has aided in supply chain issues seen throughout the pandemic.
Karen sells her flower bouquets through her Instagram @wildblooms.farm, which gained nearly 300 followers in the first three weeks of business.
By Brianna O’Rourke