Ever wondered what it takes to create the perfect bouquet? For local floral arranger, Lani Chapman, it’s a combination of sourcing the right locally grown blooms and pulling together something that evokes emotion and indulges the senses.
You’ll soon have the chance to try your hand at floral arranging when Lani opens up her Smythesdale studio in 2021.
In the meantime, here’s your chance to get to know more about Lani Chapman of The Petal Press Co.
At what point did you know this was the career for you?
In year 10 I did a week of work experience in a florist shop and ever since I have been absolutely obsessed with all things floral. After working for a year or so on weekends I knew I really wanted to pursue it as a career and, my previous employer happily signed me up as an apprentice (yes florists do apprenticeships, three years in fact!)
We’re sure floral arranging isn’t as easy as it looks, so what’s the key to the perfect arrangement?
Technically a perfect floral design is achieved by implementing the design elements and principles in perfect harmony. I’m sure you remember these terms from art class, but they’re used in floristry too! Personally I like to think beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What I think is absolutely beautiful may be unappealing to someone else. Floral arranging is about creating a bespoke floral design that is unique to an individual or event that evokes emotion, indulges the senses and creates or rekindles memories. To me that’s what makes them perfect.
We hear you like to use locally grown seasonal blooms?
I love supporting the local flower growers in my area, I find it a lot more personal and special experience sourcing my flowers locally. The growers in this region pour so much love and talent into the flowers they grow and I get to develop a special bond with them. Often I get to pick my own flowers and have tours around the farms. It makes my job so much more enjoyable knowing that I’m also supporting other small businesses and we all love to help each other out, that’s something you just don’t get from using big suppliers.
What’s your favourite bloom?
Oh gosh, I honestly find this the hardest question, I have too many! I do love delphinium, as there are very few flowers that are blue. And my favourite native flower is definitely Waratahs!
What can you tell us about your workshops?
I’m in the process of building my new studio in Smythesdale, which is going to include a gorgeous space to host my own floral workshops in. Teaching is a huge passion of mine, I love sharing what I know with others and helping them create beautiful pieces of art. I intend to offer a range of floral workshops throughout the year, which will be suitable for anyone looking to start a new hobby, gain some experience in the floristry industry or simply just try something new.
What do you love most about the Ballarat region?
Ballarat has been my home since I was a baby, everything about the town resonates with my soul and no town will ever compare to me. I love all our beautiful heritage buildings, and of course the magical bushland and vast paddocks we’re surrounded by. I also love that we have such an ‘artsy’ town. So many installations, murals and sculptures are hidden everywhere, there’s always something new to discover!
What’s Ballarat’s best kept secret?
Ballarat Bird World. I rave on and on about this beautiful place to so many people and am shocked when people who have lived here for so long say they’ve never been. My partner and I go once a year, and always leave with the biggest smiles on our faces. Our favourite bird is a Major Mitchell Cockatoo who eats almonds from your hand and meows like a cat.
What are your top three recommendations of things to do in Ballarat?
Visit Smythesdale. My little hometown has so many things to offer and is just 20 minutes from Ballarat. The railway track is perfect for those who love the outdoors, we have a huge antique and collectibles store full of bargains, and the local pub and cafe have scrumptious food.
Visit the Botanical Gardens; how could I not suggest it! I love checking it out every few months, it’s so magical watching all the flowers and foliage change each season.
For an Irish pub feed check out The Munsters Arms, they often have live bands playing on the weekend and the food is to die for, highly recommend the bangers and mash and gnocchi. It’s my go to restaurant.