March 2025


Ellen Douglas: Pocket Profile

When/How did you get into the industry?

I got into floristry through an apprenticeship in 2008. It was a spur of the moment decision after completing an illustration course that I already knew would not be my career. However, I still craved something creative, so I applied for the florist’s apprentice position and never looked back. Since then, I worked in different retail florists gaining experience and honing my skills until opening Botany as an online delivery-based florist in 2019. The focus of my business since its inception is locally grown and seasonal flowers, presented in reusable, returnable or recyclable packaging and delivered with minimal environmental impact.

What are you most excited about at this year’s #melbflower show?

For the first time in its history, the MIFGS floral displays in the Great Hall will have a focus on low-impact, low-waste mechanics and sustainable, earth-conscious choices of floral material. This reflects the current shift in our industry toward responsible business practices that do not harm our environment. Botany will be partnering with Grown Not Flown to create a display that showcases local, Victorian grown flowers and indigenous plants, bringing together ‘the Floristry and the Flower Farm’. The design will transport viewers to a local farm where seasonal autumn flowers grow in beautiful, natural drifts across the landscape.

What is your favourite flower trend of the season?

We follow the flow of nature to find inspiration throughout the year, rather than looking to trends that may not always align with the current season. For autumn (the season the show will take place), I adore mixing the seedpods from summer flowering varieties with fresh florals and beautiful foliage – every part of the plant has beauty and we love to showcase each element in our daily arrangements. Peach, apricot and bronze are always popular and this season has some beautiful options in that palette.

Who has been the biggest influence on your floral career?

I have always loved wandering through gardens and I adore the garden design work of Piet Oudolf and the photography of Claire Takacs. Both show a deep appreciation for nature in all her seasons. In our own industry I have loved following the careers of Rita Feldmann and Joost Bakker who have long championed sustainable floristry and were huge inspirations in opening Botany.

If you could invite any three people to a garden party who would they be?

I love watching Claus Dalby’s content on Instagram – he is a Danish gardener with lots of plant and gardening knowledge to share and seems like he’d be great to have a cuppa and a good yarn with. I would also love to meet Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard for a business chat – Patagonia is company goals and I’d be fascinated to hear about their journey. Also at our garden party would be Aketch Joy Winnie, a content creator from Uganda who has the most hilarious, dry sense of humour that I love but also talks a lot about community (real community) which is mostly missing from life here. 

If you had a floristry super power what would it be?

To turn every barren space in Melbourne into public gardens full of flowers and vegetables. Even those tiny, dusty, empty blocks you see behind wire fences, in between apartments and houses, these are spaces we could be growing in. I know people own these spaces and the gardens would only be temporary, but luckily it does not take long for a vegetable to grow or a flower to bloom. 


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