Meet Florist, Nga Bui

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23 Jan 2018

Like a loose, just-picked look for the home-grown flowers in your house? So do we! We are thrilled to announce new Sunday workshop at 2pm so we can all learn the art of arranging homegrown flowers. Here we meet one of our favourite Sydney florists Nga Bui to chat flowers.

Interview: Robin Powell

You try to use only local flowers in your work, why is that?

We have a choice to either support local growers and pay a bit more, or choose cheaper imports. People are starting to ask how their flowers are grown, in the same way they want to know where their food comes from. With imported flowers you don’t know the environmental impacts, the condition of the workers employed, but you do know they've flown a long way, and they’ve been spayed and they don't last as long as locally grown. So I find that when I explain to customers why I don't have roses in winter, they appreciate what I’m doing.


Are there aesthetic reasons as well?

The big trend in flowers, coming out of North America, is for a natural, just picked, garden-fresh look. You just can’t do these looser, more naturalistic styles using commercially-grown, stiff roses. You need something that looks like it was grown in a garden.


Do you have your own garden?

I sweet-talked my brother into allowing me to grow some of my flowers in his yard in Cabramatta. I think maybe he first thought I would have a little patch - now he doesn't have a lawn!  He’s loving it actually and getting my nieces involved. He grows lots of Vietnamese food so it’s a lovely vegie patch and flower garden that we’ve established there.


What’s blooming for late summer?

Roses, dahlias, chocolate and Queen Anne's laces, achillea, and a lot of cosmos, about five different varieties. That’s something my dad grew 20 years ago. I would pick it to have on my desk when I was studying, never thinking I’d take up flowers professionally.


Collectors' Plant Fair will be running a free Sunday workshop at 2pm called the Art of Arranging Home Grown Flowers at the Collectors' Plant Fair this year. Just head to the marquee and we'll see you there.