It has been almost seven years since the devastating earthquake tore through Christchurch, yet the resilience and determination of the people to bring life back into the city evokes an energy that deserves to be shared. The garden city is blooming once again and we’re excited to finally be opening the doors to our brand new city store. To help celebrate new beginnings, we’re teaming up with the talented mother and daughter duo from Mrs Bottomley’s Flowers to create beautiful bunches of blooms for our new Christchurch store.
Photography by Sarah Harrison.
Christchurch is known as the garden city. What do you love about the city and what exactly makes it home for you?
We love the Port Hills, the Peninsula and the close proximity of the seashore, especially Birdling’s Flat. The botanical gardens are a treasure, and so too are the abundance of exotic and native trees we have growing in our city and its surrounds.
You support local growers and refuse to buy imported flowers. Is that a big part of your business?
It is an important part of our business philosophy. Having worked in a flower farm for many years, I have an awareness of the intensive work involved in bringing flowers and foliage to the market. We feel it is important to buy as close to home as possible, for ecological reasons and most importantly to support local producers. For the future of flower farming in New Zealand to be sustainable, we must support the local industry.
What are your favourite spring flowers?
Magnolia blossoms, (in fact all blossoms really!) double daffodils, freesia, tulips, anemone and ranunculus, daphne and boronia.
Being a family run business, you work together very closely. How do you make it work?
We have our individual, specific roles within the business which ensures that we do not step on each other’s toes. We also ensure that we do things together, as mother and daughter, so that not all the time we have together is about work.
What are your tips for styling flowers at home?
Don’t cut flowers in the heat of the day and plunge stems into water as soon as possible after cutting.
Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the stem so that you have no foliage below the water level of your vase.
Arrange the foliage in the vase first then add your flower stems one at a time. Odd numbers often look better, but you can break the rule on this one depending on what you think looks best.
You may like to stick to the same colour tones to begin with, e.g. reds, oranges and yellows together. The more practice you have the more confident you will become with colour selection, but certainly don’t be afraid to experiment.
Choose the appropriate vase for the size and shape of your arrangement. The best shape of vase for any arrangement is one with a narrower top and a wider bottom. However, you can make a vase out of anything watertight: jam jars, teacups, glasses and tins all make appropriate and interesting vessels.