We stumbled into taking our Little Flower School on the road some years ago, but never did we think about going so far away as Australia. To see the other side of the world...it's people, it's flowers. To be honest, we're still processing it all...
We arrived in Sydney a few weeks ago and were greeted by one of the hottest days on record - a whopping 46 degrees (approx. 110 degrees in Farenheit). It hardly phased us, consumed by our excitement for lotus flowers, banksia, blooming eucalyptus and flannel flowers. The following day we were actually quite awake and ready for a 4am trip to the Sydney Flower market (jet lag works in your favor so very rarely).
As we met people we both talked endlessly to everyone we met about our good fortune at having summer twice. Indeed we indulged in more heirloom roses and peaches than were probably necessary.
The third day we drove north to some flower farms with Ruby our Sydney guide and fellow florist. In what became the most memorable of days we cut giant begonia leaves and learned a thing or two about propagation at a dutch woman's greenhouse, bought peaches and plums at an Italian-Australian's little fruit orchard, visited with Tammy at B&B roses, and visited with Wayne and his wife Allison at their perennial farm located in a enchanted micro-climate at the base of the Blue Mountains.
When we travel the farm visits are so important; they give us instant insight into the local market - what florists are using and what maybe they should be using but have not considered. Plus growers are always crazy and fun characters to hang out with. They love to talk about flowers, even more than we do sometimes.
We were in Australia for two weeks, but even by the third day we were planning a return visit. There are just too many great things, places and people to see. I don't like to generalize too much, but I want to tell you how warm, aesthetically oriented and adventurous Australians are. The floral designers we met love their natives, and in ways, are almost patriotic about working with them. It's lovely.
We have lots more to show you; obviously the CLASSES! And all the gorgeous student work that resulted from these collection of beautiful flowers. But before we sign off on this we wanted to extend a very big, sincere thank you to all the people who made this great adventure possible and so special.
Ruby - for all you help in planning, all the emailing. For convincing us in the first place that there might be enough interested students. And for being the most gracious and thoughtful hostess imaginable.
Jardine - for trusting strangers enough to show up at the market and just start carrying stuff with us. I know we told you a million times already but we wouldn't have been able to manage without your help.
Tammy - for taking the time to show us around, being so honest and rad. I wish we had more time to hang out.
Wayne - Your beautiful farm is paradise and it will haunt our dreams till our next visit! Thank you for spending so much time sharing your enthusiasm for plants for growing and for the industry. You are an inspiration and you make terrific coffee!
Saskia - It really was such an honor to have dinner with you and your staff. The perfect evening in so many ways, thank you. We are savoring the beauty in the book bit by bit.
And of course -- 100 thank you's to our students who trusted that we'd have something interesting to share. You inspired us with your fearlessness, your eagerness and of course your passion for flowers.