Reputed to be Bowral’s best florist, Blooms of Bowral delivers a magnificent burst of fresh, fragrant colour to the heart of High Street Arcade, overflowing onto Bong Bong Street, and most certainly into people’s homes.
Largely noticeable by the utterly whimsical dried floral gowns that adorn the shopfront’s mannequins, Blooms of Bowral is famed for its exquisite posies, extravagant bouquets and visually striking garlands. Ever-loyal clients and passers-by simply can’t resist the sweetly-scented store, and its jaw-droppingly beautiful Instagram account, of course.
It’s renowned for its impeccably polite and efficient service. In fact, few florists anywhere this scribe has travelled in Australia, or the world, can create such beauty in such a short space of time, and have it delivered without a petal out of place.
Bowral’s Best Florist – Truly Local
Owner/operator Michelle Clayton is Southern Highlands born and bred and has worked in retail, bouncing between her two loves – fashion and floral art – her entire working life. Flowers however, are her true love, which is arguably why her store has garnered the reputation of being Bowral’s Best Florist.
With such a rare and unique flair for her craft, one would be forgiven for thinking she had trained with some of the world’s top florists. Not so. Michelle is self-taught and a natural-born creative.
“I just love floral art so much,” she beams. “It brings so much joy and this is such a heartwarming job. I feel privileged to share so many emotional moments with people. It is such an honour.” She is quick to add: “I couldn’t do it without my team. I have such a great group of girls working with me. They are so sensitive to our customers’ needs.”
“We especially love it when we know the back-story behind an arrangement – be it a proposal, a birth, or any other significant moment in someone’s lives. Obviously we all enjoy the happy events, and it gives us a real buzz, but being asked to do a family’s flowers as a last tribute is also such an honour. Frequently, after the event, they come back in and tell us how much the flowers meant to them.
“For instance, we once had a lovely lady who wanted a coral peony in her husband’s tribute arrangement. She loved the coral peony, but it didn’t really go with the other flowers chosen for the tribute bouquet. So, we sent her one single stem for herself to hold on the day. She loved the idea so much that she then organised for each family member to have one. To this day, she now buys one each year, on the anniversary of her husband’s death.
“Another instance that stays close to my heart was when a woman came to us during COVID-19 restrictions. We had placed a basket of flowers out on the street with a note saying, “please take a flower or two if you need cheering up.
“She came into the store and told me that she had taken one, as the anniversary of her husband’s death was coming up. His favourite flowers were gerberas. So, she took them and placed them on his grave. It is a privilege to be in a position to do this kind of thing for people.”
This Season’s Most Popular Flowers
While roses and peonies are popular year-round, Michelle says sweet peas are a constant favourite and dahlias are always a go-to in the warmer months.
“We buy from a local grower for sweet peas, who also supply our dahlias. She also provides the blooms for Dahlias for Dementia. This initiative sees Southern Highlands dahlia growers and local business help to raise funds for training in quality dementia care for our region.”
As for the rest of the year, Michelle relies mostly on local growers wherever possible.
“We use local growers whenever we can, however there are instances where this isn’t always possible. For example, for Mother’s Day 2020. Our local growers were completely wiped out, as people were unable to visit loved ones in care, or those who may have been vulnerable to COVID-19. So, they sent flowers in abundance instead. In this instance, to meet the demand, we had to freight certain flowers.”
Blooms of Bowral is located at 10-312 Bong Bong St. Bowral
High Street Laneway
+612 4861 3516
Feature image: Getty Images/istock