With spring comes the florist industry’s golden trifecta: warmer weather, seasonal blooms and weddings. As nature reawakens, a colourful botanic explosion happens and it’s often hard to choose which bunch to take home because of all the choice.
We got advice from some of Sydney florists on their favourites so your next visit to the markets or local petal-pusher is that little bit easier.
Jai Winnell of Hermetica Flowers – ranunculus
They’re round, soft and fluffy, and at Hermetica in Darlinghurst the ranunculus is a favourite seasonal bloom for the store’s bouquets and arrangements.
“In spring we use lots of ranunculus, which are abundant and grown locally by our favourite growers,” says director Jai Winnell. For wedding bouquets they’re a popular alternative to the peony.
At Hermetica – renowned for its sculptural flower arrangements that incorporate origami-like paper artistry – staff “hand fluffs” the ranunculus to bring out their full texture and size. “They work very well with roses,” says Winnell.
Lilly O’Hare of Seedsmiths – grevillea (in any colour)
Sometimes confused for a bottlebrush, the grevillea (also known as a spider flower) is a unique petal-less Australian native.
“Everything about it is amazingly unusual,” says owner Lilly O’Hare. “[Instead of petals] it has brightly coloured lobes full of nectar. I’ve always associated grevilleas with the warmer seasons, with bees buzzing around.”
O’Hare says they’re delicate. “They need a heap of TLC when including them in an arrangement.”
Kowsh Rawson of Kiko Design – hydrangea
The hydrangea is a “very generous flower”, according to co-owner Kowsh Rawson.
“They’re so beautiful and good to work with because of their size ... Most of the time the head is the size of the our palms.”
Rawson sources them from local growers in a variety of colours: shades of purples, pinks, reds and whites. “The blue ones are especially beautiful,” she says.
The species is comprised of multiple small flowers that comprise a large flower head, and Rawson likes featuring them as a centrepiece in a bouquet or arrangement. “They’re very large and very impactful,” she says.
Alice Beasley of Alice Beasley Flowers – bearded iris
Unusually for a Sydney florist, Alice Beasley grows her own flowers at her parents’ home in the Blue Mountains. “My biggest focus is seasonality – I rarely use imported flowers,” she says.
She grows hellebores, sweet peas, tulips and daffodils on the property, as well as the hard-to-find fritillaria, a speckled flower with a dangling, bell-shaped head. In spring she reaches for the bearded iris.
“The colours are so beautiful, with rusty and coppery colours. Some of them look like the sunset,” she tells Broadsheet.
The bearded iris is something of a paradox – it looks delicate but can last a long time without water, making it ideal for bridal bouquets. And though they’re a classic “garden flower”, Beasley also recommends them as an indoor bloom.
For an extra vote, she loves magnolias. “I love working them into installations because they’re so architectural. They’re a fleshy flower; the petals are almost juicy. If you crumple them, water comes out,” she says.