Fresh floral arrangements create the signature look for the popular Boat House Cafes
Posted on Nov 02, 2017
Jessie Carey is a florist for Sydney events and café company The Boathouse Group. The Group is a collective of seven different waterside food and lifestyle businesses ranging from a deli and coffee spot to a dedicated events space. It’s Jessie’s job to dress each venue with floral arrangements, maintaining the group’s signature fresh, bright and lush aesthetic. Jessie spends her busy weeks travelling between all the venues to either refresh the arrangements or installing new ones, bearing in mind any special events and weddings that the Group might be hosting.
4 am: It’s a Friday so I’m up before the sun to get to the Sydney Flower Markets – I don’t go every day, just a few times a week.
5 am: I arrive at the markets and I talk with the growers. Some have put a few things aside for me but otherwise, I don’t really have a specific plan or order. I usually just choose what’s looking best and in line with the Boathouse ‘look’: seasonal, bold, fresh, lush and abundant.I love that I have so much creative freedom.
I’ve been a florist for six years and working with the Boathouse for nine months, so I intuitively know what each site is going to need, calculating how many bunches are needed for each venue.
6 am: I’m packing the van with the help of a colleague and on Fridays, the van is full to the brim, almost spitting out blooms. We head off for our first venue, The Boathouse Balmoral Beach.
7.30 am: We arrive at Balmoral Beach. Today we’re putting in new arrangements so we’ll be here for a while. We like to condition our flowers by taking off excess foliage that may be sitting in water. we trim the bottoms of all flowers and foliages before styling them into their pots. The look we go for is bold, abundant and fresh, just like most things at the boathouse, quality is the highest possible. In summer we love to use garden roses, hydrangeas, flowering eucalyptus, dahlias, ginger flowers and fruits like pomegranate stems or figs. When we’re done, it’s time to head to Shelley Beach.
10 am: We arrive at Shelley Beach, and do the same. Because Balmoral and Shelley are cafes filled with people, we have to be really aware of the customers and keep everything tidy, so it can take us a little while.
12 pm: It’s time for lunch, and I’m starving! I always make sure I eat a proper meal because it’s a long day and I’m doing so much driving. Next on the list is Moby Dick’s, a dedicated event venue.
1.30 pm: We arrive at Moby Dick’s, and we’re setting up for a wedding that will be held later today. When we arrive at Moby’s, we carry all the flowers down the stairs and start the process of cutting stems and conditioning the blooms and foliages. We get to have a play with a few different sections at Moby’s. Sometimes we fill bathtubs with hydrangeas; sometimes we create a floral arbour, positioned in the courtyard where some of our guests have their wedding ceremony. Generally, the flowers chosen are more romantic and are slightly softer than those we use at the cafes. The same, abundant, lush aesthetic is created. When we’re done, cleaning up all the petals and leaves, we head off to Palm Beach, which is another event space and our last spot for the day.
4.30 pm: We arrive. Palm Beach is another event space but it does operate as a café until about 4 pm. We only need to refresh the arrangements today, in time for a wedding, usually for that evening, also Saturday night. We did most of the work at palm beach on Wednesday to give the flowers enough time to open (they’re usually closed when we get them from the market).
6 pm: I’m finally heading home.