Day In The Life Of The Florist For Sydney’s Popular Boat House Cafes

Day In The Life Of The Florist For Sydney's Popular Boat House Cafes
Ilona Marchetta

Sustainability & Home Editor

Oct 19, 2017

Jessie Carey is a florist for Sydney events and café company The Boathouse Group. The Group is a collective of seven different waterside food and lifestyle businesses ranging from a deli and coffee spot to a dedicated events space and includes the popular Balmoral Boathouse.

It’s Jessie’s job to dress each venue with floral arrangements, maintaining the group’s signature fresh, bright and lush aesthetic.
Jessie spends her busy weeks travelling between all the venues to either refresh the arrangements or install new ones, bearing in mind any special events and weddings that the Group might be hosting.

Florist Jess Carey fills up her van after an early morning at the Sydney Flower Market in Flemington, Sydney
Florist Jessie Carey fills up her van after an early morning at the Sydney Flower Market in Flemington, Sydney

4am: It’s a Friday so I’m up before the sun to get to the Sydney Flower Markets – I don’t go every day, just a few times a week.

5am: I arrive at the markets and I talk with the growers. Some have put a few things aside for me but otherwise, I don’t really have a specific plan or order. I usually just choose what’s looking best and in line with the Boathouse ‘look’: seasonal, bold, fresh, lush and abundant. I love that I have so much creative freedom.

Shelly beach boathouse

I’ve been a florist for six years and working with the Boat house for nine months, so I intuitively know what each site is going to need, calculating how many bunches are needed for each venue
6am: I’m packing the van with the help of a colleague and on Fridays, the van is full to the brim, almost spitting out blooms We head off for our first venue, The Boathouse Balmoral Beach.

balmoral boathouse
Beautiful flowers light up the outside of The Boathouse in Balmoral, Mosman.

7.30am: We arrive at Balmoral Beach. Today we’re putting in new arrangements so we’ll be here for a while. We like to condition our flowers by taking off excess foliage that may be sitting in water. We trim the bottoms of all flowers and foliage before styling them into their pots. The look we go for is bold, abundant and fresh, just like most things at the Boat House, quality is the highest possible. In summer, we love to use garden roses, hydrangeas, flowering eucalyptus, daliahs, ginger flowers and fruits like pomegranate stems or figs.

When we’re done, it’s time to head to Shelly Beach.

10am: We arrive at Shelly Beach, and do the same. Because Balmoral and Shelly are cafes filled with people, we have to be really aware of the customers and keep everything tidy, so it can take us a little while.

jess carey at boathouse cafeJess Carey florist at Boathouse

12pm: It’s time for lunch, and I’m starving! I always make sure I eat a proper meal because it’s a long day and I’m doing so much driving. Next on the list is Moby Dick’s, a dedicated event venue.

1.30pm: We arrive at Moby Dick’s, and we’re setting up for a wedding that will be held later today. When we arrive at Moby’s, we carry all the flowers down the stairs and start the process of cutting stems and conditioning the blooms and foliage. We get to have a play with a few different sections at Moby’s. Sometimes we fill bath tubs with hydrangeas; sometimes we create a floral arbour, positioned in the courtyard where some of our guests have their wedding ceremony. Generally, the flowers chosen are more romantic, and are slightly softer than those used at the cafes. The same, abundant, lush aesthetic is created. When we’re done, cleaning up all the petals and leaves, we head off to Palm Beach, which is another event space and our last spot for the day.

Jess Carey florist

4.30pm: We arrive. Palm Beach is another event space but it does operate as a café until about 4pm. We only need to refresh the arrangements today, in time for a wedding, usually for that evening, also Saturday night. We did most of the work at Palm Beach Boat House on Wednesday to give the flowers enough time to open (they’re usually closed when we get them from the market).
6pm: I’m finally heading home.


If you love flowers as much as we do at The Carousel then visit the Sydney Flower Markets in Flemington, Sydney and you can read more from their blog on flowers, here.


By Ilona Marchetta

Sustainability & Home Editor

Ilona Marchetta is The Carousel's Home and Sustainability Editor. She is a change manager and journalist specialising in sustainability. Ilona is passionate about slow and mindful living, from fashion to interiors to beauty and self care.



The Carousel