A bouquet of flowers is possibly the only gift that can symbolise grief and joy in equal measure. The staple of weddings, funerals and anniversaries, those buds and fronds have to express a range of sentiments and they deserve to be presented in style. You won’t find a single plastic gerbera in the stores of Adelaide’s finest florists – they experiment with their craft, approach the industry with fresh eyes, and operate with ethics and sustainability at front of mind. Here are nine of the best.
East End Flower Market
It’s impossible to discuss Adelaide’s floral renaissance without due credit to the East End Flower Market. The Grenfell Street shop has provided foliage to Adelaide’s concrete jungle since 2015. Glossy greenery overflows into the street and is impossible to miss. Co-owner Justine Ellbourn has 10 years’ experience in the craft – and a childhood at the knee of her florist mother. She creates gorgeous bouquets that play with the curious shapes of wild plants, mixed with modern, cultivated varieties. East End Flower Market is also known for specialising in house plants, such as the ever-popular fiddle-leaf fig.
A visit to Rebecca Trevitt’s shop and studio in Colonel Light Gardens is a treat for the senses. The wide front windows bring in a wash of light over Trevitt’s work. Wreaths hang on the wall in varying states of dryness. Branches and stems are gathered around the shop, bundled and waiting to be snipped, bent and preserved. Bunnytail, banksias, bluegum and kale complement each other in one bouquet in progress. Trevitt intends for her arrangements to last beyond the green life of the plant. Her blooms are sustainably grown plants, aligning with Ponder Posy’s local and seasonal ethos. This is not just a retail space: Trevitt explores the “everlasting” quality of plants through workshops on wreath-making and still-life painting.
Austin Bloom captures the Australian landscape in its stunning arrangements. Native varieties, muted complementary colours, beautiful wrapping, and striking shapes combine in these large bouquets. A range of textures are considered: twigs, seedpods, broad leaves, delicate wildflowers, silky poppies and alien orchids come together to make living works of art. Estee and Stuart Austin are the couple behind the business, which they grew from a Sunday stall in Hahndorf, to a studio in Balhannah, to a newly opened retail space in the CBD (inside WOTSO Workspace). The closure of their Hills store didn’t mark the end of the community spirit, though. The Austins have carried over their suite of intensive workshops and floristry short courses, which over the last few years have introduced hundreds of South Australians to the art and craft of floral design.
217/219 Flinders Street, Adelaide (entry on Ifould Street)
(08) 8398 0440
Mon to Fri 8.30am-5.30pm
Rose and Radish
The Rose and Radish’s working week begins on Thursday, when Rosie and Oscar Winter pluck fresh flowers from their Adelaide Hills garden. Over the next few days, they gather hardier foliage, and begin cutting, preparing and arranging the harvest for any weddings or events they have booked. Lucky Adelaideans then get their pick of the bunch on Sundays at the Market Shed on Holland. Any discarded stems and leaves are composted and used on the garden. Ethical, sustainable farming is first and foremost for Rose and Radish. The homegrown harvest cultivates rare, heirloom breeds that would be too delicate and short-lived to import. The personal approach from seed to stall sets the store apart. With enough notice and the right conditions, the Winters will try to grow personalised varieties for any event: flowers with scents that evoke your memories or colours that suit your particular palette.
Operating Sunday at the Market Shed on Holland, otherwise by appointment.
0411 341 981
Hannah Graney is the heart and mind behind Nettles, a Parkside-based florist. Graney studied painting at the National Art School, where her study culminated in an exhibition of sculptural works: rice paper, dyed with ink, arranged like falling petals. The sculptural quality of flowers and foliage is a key element in Nettles’ arrangements. The play of textures, soft against hard, is the defining quality of a Nettles bouquet: the coronial silhouettes of king proteas loom large against the frail, tissue-thin petals of cosmos sweetpea, all cocooned in the broad blue leaves of tetragona eucalyptus. Graney works closely with key Adelaide Hills growers to exclusively source locally grown plants, and is known to supplement her offerings with plants she has foraged from the bush.
0439 204 014
Fridays and Saturdays, by appointment
Order over the phone; pick-up and delivery options available.
Poppies Flowers is a much-loved Adelaide institution. Sally Boots has been at the helm for nearly eight years, but the story began 25 years ago. Over that time, Poppies built a reputation for gorgeous arrangements, inspired by the Dutch Masters of the 16th and 17th centuries. Poppies’ arrangements are expressions of understated opulence. Bouquets are presented in vintage vases, cut crystal, antique medicinal jars. Every detail is considered. Boots runs seasonal floristry classes throughout the year, and for the last four years has also conducted workshops in Beijing.
Itty Bitty Bunch
Flowers from a friendly face: that’s Itty Bitty Bunch in a nutshell. Partners in life and business, Simon Molloy and Olivia Wescombe, abandoned the rat race when they fell in love with floristry. The pair, along with Molloy’s sister Jodie, now run Itty Bitty Bunch full-time. It’s a subscription flower service with a primary aim of bringing a little bit of joy into everyday life. The trio does everything themselves, starting with the crack-of-dawn daily market visit, followed by arranging and dressing the blooms in signature hessian, and finishing up mid-afternoon with the delivery run. The daily bunches are florist’s choice, and every bouquet is offered for the same flat rate. Itty Bitty Bunch offers mid-sized arrangements bursting with colour, and any spare bouquets at the end of the day are delivered with a smile to the winners on their wildcard list.
Delivery: Monday to Friday, same-day delivery for orders received before 1pm
Madeleine Samson is a recent TAFE graduate who works part-time in commercial floristry and runs her artistic practice from home. On market day, Samson brings home as many flowers as she needs – then spends the afternoon making sure her cat doesn’t eat them. In glass vases on her kitchen table, she gathers the varieties, ready for bunching. Deep reds, creamy whites and gentle greens are signature colours. The vampy scabiosa is a current favourite, though grapefruit-sized peonies, dramatic fronds of Love Lies Bleeding and sprigs of acacia are familiar features in Samson’s arrangements, too.
0434 550 761, made to order, by appointment
The Flower Web
The Flower Web is the online branch of a collection of flower shops all around Adelaide. Each bricks-and-mortar store is a little different, but you’re guaranteed to find bright blooms spilling out into the street at every one. These little hole-in-the-wall spots are great for gifts on the run. Aside from bouquets, they sell succulents and low-maintenance houseplants (like maidenhair ferns) potted in lovely dark-glass jars.
The Flower Web includes The Flower Hutt, The Flower Parade, Flowers Due North and Flowers 152.
Opening times differ for each branch.