Lifestyle

A Kialla gardener’s blooming good idea

By Sharon Wright

For Kialla’s Therese Nicholson, flowers, nature and creativity have been delightful constants in her life.

The mother-of-three enjoys the simplicity of getting her hands dirty to pull together rustic free-form bouquets for family, friends and complete strangers.

“Making up bouquets is like meditation, it’s grounding,” Therese said.

“If I feel like I’m struggling a bit, I get outside and create; it immediately lifts my energy and my spirit.”

As a teenager Therese’s bedroom was decorated with floral arrangements, collected on various horse-riding adventures near her Undera home.

Therese Nicholson gets some help in her Kialla garden from her four-legged friend.

That interest has now translated into a flourishing cottage industry.

From a shady spot in her garden at home, Blooming Buckets Flowers evolved as the result of a long-held pass

ion, a Reiki healing session and a desire to share her skills and knowledge with those around her.

Therese said her early working life involved "dream jobs" in an antique and gift-ware shop in Fryers St, operating her own shop front — Dried Ideas by Treez — before taking time out to raise her children and assist in the family business.

“Life was busy but I still did flowers for family events, and then when I turned 50, the kids were more independent and I needed to do something creative,” Therese said.

“A friend did a Reiki healing for me and it became very obvious that I needed to do something that brings me joy, and working with flowers was that something.”

Up close and personal with one of Therese Nicholson's native plants.

Her floristry style is not structured or neat and her signature rustic free-form bouquets are on-trend, particularly with boho-inspired brides.

Occasionally she buys flowers for a special order but most of her raw materials come from raiding the gardens of family and friends, pruning some of the 1500 trees planted on the family property to create a wildlife corridor, or from generous neighbours who leave buckets of foliage at her front gate.

“My kids gave me a pole saw for Christmas, it’s my pride and joy and I always have my gumboots and secateurs in the car as I have been known to roadside pick,” Therese said.

“I love the different textures of native foliage, as well as ferns and plants like crepe myrtle, and I always include a special surprise like a feature flower.”

Therese Nicholson's tools of the trade.

Proteas, leucadendrons, succulents, irises, or any other seasonal flower, often make their way into the bouquets or arrangements.

Using recycled containers such as coffee tins, large jars or boxes made from old timber is part of Therese's zero-waste ethos, and another motivator is sharing her knowledge with others.

“I’m not a trained florist but I do love to share my skills and knowledge,” Therese said.

She regularly assists ConnectGV’s supported employment Flower Power program, helping clients create small jars of flowers for delivery to local businesses, and is happy to teach DIY brides to make their own bouquets for their big day.

“This has opened so many new opportunities for me — I don’t think of it as a business, it’s my passion and it fills my soul,” Therese said.

Native billy buttons are the final touch in this rustic bouquet made by Therese Nicholson.