As I write this a cool rain is falling. It's a welcome salve to the fiery heat of the last few months where the temperature has leapt over 35 degrees with alarming regularity. I really can't stand the heat, which is odd because the baking heat of the Sydney suburbs is my natural habitat and the suburban gardens I grew up around have become one of my biggest influences as a florist.
For a flower to become ubiquitous in the suburbs it has to be both tough and beautiful. It has to thrive on benign neglect. So the garden in my mind is filled with the tumbling brightness of bougainvillea, the vibrant red of a rose against orange brick, cloudy drifts of hydrangeas, and the mottled leaves of geraniums. For me, the seasons are marked by the flowering of wattle, the jacaranda in the school yard, and the frangipani in my parents garden.
I almost wish I could say that my passion for plants and flowers came from Edwardian gardens, overgrown ruins and wild moorlands but, while these things influence me now, it was the plants that flourish under the scorching sun and violent storms of Sydney that first introduced me to the beauty of flowers.