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These urban flower farmers are turning the burbs into full-bloom spaces

Meet the Instagram friends-turned-florist dream team taking their passion for florals into a flourishing business

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By Heidi Bertish  | October 6, 2022 | Gardens

Susie Harris Leblond and Tarryn Martin, the dynamic duo behind Flourish Urban Flower Farm, connected through a shared love for flowers and growing. Both beguiled by their newfound lifestyle as ‘urban flower farmers’, they met virtually while searching for small-scale flower growers on Instagram.

Beautiful blooms, Image: Heidi Bertish

Susie’s flower journey began after her vegetable garden was transformed into a mishmash of happy blooms. ‘I have always loved flowers,’ she says. ‘I love to grow them, pick them, give them away and photograph them.’ With a background in horticulture and photography, creating a cutting garden to capture and share what she loved felt like a natural evolution.

Pops of colour throughout the garden, Image; Heidi Bertish/Susie Harris Leblond

For Tarryn, already an established botanist, skilled gardener and photographer, the dahlia’s extraordinary variety of shapes and forms inspired her to grow them at home. Starting small, it was not long before her green fingers were itching for more dahlia tubers. ‘The bug had bitten hard,’ she says, and it was not long before her property was brimming with oversized blooms of Café au Lait, tall stems of coral-pink ‘Salmon Runner’, orange, copper and bronze-coloured pom-pom varieties such as favourites ‘Cornel Bronze’, blush-pink ‘Sweet Nathalie’ with soft buttery coloured centres, and many, many others. ‘I was hooked!’ she says.

Little friends in the garden, Image: Heidi Bertish

After their first meeting in person, they knew growing together was what they wanted to do. ‘We began combining the produce from our gardens and selling bunches locally, which evolved into hosting workshops in our gardens at home,’ says Susie. ‘We love connecting with friends, family and customers through the language of flowers, and our workshops have been the vehicle to do so. We are ever-evolving, but continue to prioritise fun, creation and play, as this is where the magic happens for us.’

Who doesn’t love a sunflower or two?, Image: Heidi Bertish

Their ethos is to keep it simple and close to nature. ‘We love our low-tech approach to growing flowers,’ say Susie and Tarryn. ‘We have considered highly organised setups, but they do not suit either of our styles – we are both drawn to overblown, romantic gardens that speak to the heart,’ they say. Keeping the balance in an ecosystem means that, for the most part, pests are taken care of by larger predators, and there is a scant need for sprays and chemical fertilisers. ‘I have eight hives in my garden,’ says Susie. ‘I adore my bees and want to keep them healthy and happy, and a natural approach to gardening goes a long way to ensure that.’ Their flowers are supplied to like-minded florists who embrace similar principles, along with the odd munched leaf or wonky stem, but the majority of their stems are used for their workshops. ‘We ask workshop attendees to actively look for the beauty in these little imperfections and encourage natural growing practices in their gardens,’ say the duo.

A close-up of a freshly bloomed flower, Image: Heidi Bertish

Between their two gardens, Tarryn and Susie now have one and a half thousand square metres bursting with dahlias, sunflowers, tall-stemmed cosmos, garden roses, lavender, chocolate lace, day lilies, larkspurs and brightly coloured zinnias, along with armfuls of other varieties all thriving under open-air cultivation. ‘Our goal at Flourish was never to have the biggest cutting garden – plenty of others are doing that well with perfect growing conditions and straight rows. What lights us up are beautiful growing spaces integrated into our home gardens, spaces that inspire and feed the soul.’

Flourish Urban Flower Farm


This article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of House and Garden SA