Maree Carter couldn't afford to buy flowers for her friend whose husband had suffered a stroke, so she decided to grow them instead.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
"We moved in and it was just a sheep paddock in the front. There was nothing there, but there there were a few wild gladioli ... I rounded some up, stuck them in a bucket and I felt so frustrated that I wasn't able to really make something nice for her," Ms Carter told the Daily Liberal.
"So right then I sent up a prayer that, if I can learn how to do this and grow the flowers, I would want to bless people with it."
She sold right through the drought and is no stranger to carting in water.
"I love what we're doing here because even though it's arid farming ... if you saw what this looked like before we started, you would think we're nuts to try and grow flowers here. But I love it because we've got good bones," Ms Carter said.
She has spent her time conditioning the soil and spreading in mushroom compost so it isn't as thirsty. But if she has a bad season, she doesn't worry too much.
"I just consider that, look, I'm ready to bring my sewing machine out, and sew for my grandkids if the flowers die," she said.
READ ALSO: How to help your spring garden thrive
"Because I know the earth is still living. I know the ground's still alive and as soon as we get rain I'll grow flowers again.
"But in the meantime, we'll work on the bones. You know, we'll work on building it up and making it better when it rains."
Ms Carter began trying to grow natives, which didn't work well - surprisingly.
"I lost a lot of money in natives. You would think that's what would be here, but they hate it here," she said.
The farm resembles an English cottage garden, with snapdragons, sweet williams, baby's-breath, canterbury bells, bells-of-Ireland, strawflowers, poppies and more.
Ms Carter offers a farmgate pickup and she said customers "love the quick turnaround". After an order is placed online, Ms Carter goes out and harvests the flowers, conditions them overnight and then leaves them out the front at a designated time for the customer to collect them.
"It's already gift wrapped all ready to go," she said.
Flower arranging courses including hand-tied bouquet workshops have also been popular, particularly with mothers and daughters. There is a course coming up on Christmas wreaths.
IN OTHER NEWS
Ms Carter prides herself on resilience and "getting through no matter what".
"You've just got to have the grit to keep going," she said.
She had always wanted to raise her six kids on a farm. Though she didn't get Rosedale up and running in time for her own kids, her 11 grandchildren now enjoy picking flowers there.
The public can also pick flowers Wednesdays to Saturdays from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.
Reading this on mobile web? Download our news app here. It's faster, easier to read and we'll send you alerts for breaking news as it happens.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.