Ruby Passion Sunflowers have started to blossom at Anastasi Blooms – as owner Tammy Anastasi’s own passion for flower farming grows.
As a farmer florist Tammy is involved in every step of the flower production, from sourcing and growing seeds, to cutting, bunching and selling the locally grown flowers and foliage.
Tammy said people typically thought of vibrant or deep yellow tones when it came to sunflowers, but she said there was actually a large variety of colours from bright lime greens, to lushest reds with chocolate tones, right through to revolutionary white sunflowers, with only a few varieties grown in Australia.
It’s the third year Anastasi Blooms has produced Ruby Passion Sunflowers, and the beautiful, rich and eye-catching reds ensure they are always quick to walk out the door.
“I never thought I would grow sunflowers,” she said.
“People either love or hate normal sunflowers, but with the ruby sunflowers everyone seems to love them.”
Growing flowers on her family’s Moore Park Beach sugar cane farm happened by chance.
Tammy said it was after she became a mum to her daughters, Lailah and Hailee, that she decided having a nine-to-five career wasn’t something she wanted anymore.
“I said to my husband (Ben) that I didn’t want to return to work, and we looked in to something I could grow on the land we have,” Tammy said.
“I went on to study cut-flower production, and at the time I didn’t think I would be where I am now.
“I am not a trained florist, but I guess when it comes to arranging flowers it’s like art – you can either draw or you can’t draw.
“I originally thought I would grow and cut flowers for florists, but with the help of my best friend Trina and my husband’s aunt Rose we are able to produce mixed bouquets, small and large vase arrangements and bunches, that are now available at three stockists: Leaf and Bean Café, Friendlies Hospital and Moore Park Beach Service Station, and all three locations sell out!”
Bundaberg Region ideal for growing flowers
Tammy said the Bundaberg Region was ideal for growing a range of flowers, and with the area's perfect climate it would be easy enough to grow both the Ruby Passion Sunflowers or typical sunflowers year-round, but it was nice to keep it seasonal and special.
“Doing this (growing a range of flowers) is definitely not effortless, but where we live definitely helps,” she said.
“We have the perfect climate to grow a large range of flowers and foliage.
“In Bundaberg we are really lucky, as the biggest concern we have is frost and we don’t get much of that.
“Everything you see in our arrangements is 100 per cent grown locally; we cut the flowers on Monday ready for sale or delivery on Tuesday, and then again on Thursday ready for Friday.
“It’s probably the biggest thing I am proud of – knowing my flowers are fresh, and I hear it constantly, people saying the flowers just seem to last and last; I think it’s what people deserve.”
Tammy said she wasn’t sure how many individual flowers were cultivated for Anastasi Blooms, but there was between 50-60 bouquets, 30-35 vase arrangements and 20-30 special orders made up each week.
The mother-of-two said the career choice brought her joy and allowed her to share her skills with others in the community.
“I know that I love it, flowers are so amazing,” Tammy said.
“People love flowers, you just have to look at a sunflower and you smile, and I guess it’s an added bonus for me knowing that I’ve grown the flowers and been there from the start – it makes it all worth it for me.”
Handy hint to keep your flowers blooming longer
Tammy said it was easy to place the flower vase aside and forget about it, but to ensure longer life in the flowers, a handy hint would be to change the water at least every second day, if not daily, and to trim a small part of the stem off by cutting at an angle to make sure the flowers could still drink the fresh water.
For more information about Anastasi Blooms and Ruby Passion Sunflowers click here.