Seed Flora quickly developed a reputation as one of Sydney’s best florists when it opened in Glebe in 2006.
Its owners, partners George Low and Elizabeth Johnson, recently closed the shopfront they operated for 10 years and moved to a studio warehouse, becoming a by-order-only business focused on events, weddings and high end corporate and house clients.
Here, the flower power couple give us a glimpse into their typical working day.
3am: George gets up to prepare for a busy day. It’s a Wednesday, so there’s corporate clients such as Louis Vuitton and Paspaley Pearls to attend to, as well as regular house clients and a David Jones fashion parade that afternoon.
5am: George arrives at the Sydney Flower Markets and gets straight into collecting masses of hydrangeas, long flowing stems of Phalaenopsis orchids, large unruly fig branches and dinner plate size dahlias along with whatever other interesting thing catches his eye on the way. “You never know what’s going to come in, so we have to be ready for anything,” Elizabeth said. “We’ve got a wedding on Saturday, so we’re getting the roses in for that today as well so we can strip them and make sure they’re all opened up in time.”
6.30am: Elizabeth arrives at the warehouse and begins to get buckets ready for George’s imminent arrival. She is also handling any jobs that came in overnight and starts making bouquets for the morning deliveries. The phone is also starting to ring with orders for the day.
7.30am: George arrives and the buckets are ready to go. “The flowers are cut, stripped, prepared and sorted according to their different jobs,” Elizabeth says. “The arranging is the highlight of everything, but it’s only one small part of our work. Preparation is probably about 70 percent of it.”
While George focuses on his corporate clients, Elizabeth is focusing on prepping for the David Jones fashion parade. She is assisted by two staff, who are getting vases ready, flowers delicately packed for transport, and preparing roses for the upcoming wedding.
8.30am: The phone is really starting to ring now and emails are coming in. “We get so many last minute orders and we try to accommodate them as best we can,” Elizabeth said.
9am: George leaves for the corporate runs and home deliveries. This week, the brief for Louis Vuitton is a very feminine and pretty look with an emphasis on roses, most likely because Valentine’s Day is approaching. The arrangements will need to be completed at the store– Hydrangeas and imported Scabiosa complete the look.
Back at the warehouse, Elizabeth is in serious prep mode for the David Jones fashion parade at Pitt Street Mall. They’ll need to arrive at 2pm to complete the set up by 5pm.
1pm: George arrives back at the warehouse, and the Seed Flora team load up the van and set off for the marquee at Cook + Phillip Park.
2pm: Set up for the David Jones fashion parade begins. There’s a green wall to complete in a bar area where pre-drinks will be held, as well as all the florals for the bridal part of the parade. The Seed Flora team create bouquets and head pieces of big wild roses, frilly imported Ranunculus, hydrangeas, freesia and Phalaenopsis orchids.
“These things can take a long time,” Elizabeth said. “The Black Diamondz Chinese New Year event in Australian Technology Park was another huge event for us this month, and was an eight hour install, not including the time to prep everything. We bumped in at 8am and had to be finished set up by 4pm, and return at midnight to bump out.”
Once the Seed Flora team are firmly entrenched in set up, George leaves to continue dropping flowers to clients and attend a meeting about an upcoming wedding.
5.30pm: Elizabeth and the crew have finished work for the day. Elizabeth gives George a quick call to let him know all went well with the set up for the fashion parade. George is still at the wedding meeting.
6.30pm: Everyone arrives back home and puts their feet up, glad that today was an early finish and ready to tackle tomorrow.
For more articles on flowers check out the Sydney Markets’ flower blog.