Flower Shack in full bloom
MARYBOROUGH flower grower Natalie Bollinger's idea of finding a workshop space has blossomed into her opening her own shop, the Flower Shack.
Natalie said she had lived on a farm where she loved the cattle and her mother loved and grew flowers - and that's where her love of flowers bloomed.
"We used to grow flowers many years ago in Childers supplying florists and doing markets," she said.
"I started growing at home in the last 12 months and have been supplying to local retailer outlets.
"Originally I was looking for a better workspace to do the flowers for the retailer outlets and that's how this evolved."
She was looking to rent a space for the days she needed when she spoke to SIP Espresso owner Eliza Higham who mentioned a space in her Walker St shop.
Within a few months and lots of late nights, the space was transformed, to the amazement of some regular SIP customers, and the Flower Shack opened on November 1.
Natalie grows some of her own including Sunflowers, Lisiantus, Calla Lilies, Asiatic Lilies and natives like Leucospermum or Pincushion Protea, Various Leucodendron, Rice Flower, White and King Protea.
"I also grow a bit of native gum for the fill and mock orange for the foliage which looks lovely in bunches.
The flower grower said she had five acres and uses a fraction of that to rotate crops.
"I am pulling up all the winter bulbs at the moment; for us here its not a great time for growing because of the heat.
"At the moment I also have chrysanthemums which are grown up north in a climate controlled environment - they are fantastic flowers."
Not shy of a challenge, Natalie has also experimented with how cut flowers last and growing natives and offers advice and flower food to customers.
"I was testing out some new flower food and I got four weeks out of them before they started to look pitiful.
"I love growing from seed, I think it is the challenge.
"Some of the natives I am trying are from Western Australia, but I am giving it a shot.
"The challenge is rewarding and then again heartbreaking.
"Once you get into it its very satisfying."
The Flower Shack has a range of flowers from $3.50 posies and standard $10 bunches to flower arrangements from $10 and $50 native bunches.
Natalie also stocks a range of gifts to compliment the flowers including local artwork, art journals, a range of sterling silver and summer fashion jewellery.
It was open from 7.30am-1.30pm Tuesday to Friday and 7.30am-noon on Saturday.
Phone orders were available and for those who want to pick them up after hours they can be collected from the retail outlets Walker St Express, Pallas St Store and Homewares from Everywhere.
Phone 0418 391 599 or drop in to 198 Walker St, entry via Neptune St or SIP Espresso.