David Berger - Chief Florist, The Flower Factory

David Berger
'On Valentine's Day we usually do around 1500 deliveries or more. It's picked up in popularity quite a bit over the last few years, so there is a lot going on.'

David is the chief florist at Australia-wide florist, the Flower Factory. Inspired by his childhood garden and a horticultural upbringing, David now has 25 years experience creating floral masterpieces, has competed in four floristry World Cups and is an Interflora judge – judging the cream of the flower crop!



What do you in your job?

I look after the main workroom for the Flower Factory, supervising around six florists in the daily production of our floral arrangements. We usually do over a hundred floral arrangements each day and every day is quite different since clients are always after different arrangements for different occasions.

How does the work change throughout the year? Is it a seasonal thing?

Flowers are very seasonal and we always try to work closely with that. It’s like fruit and vegetables – the seasonal things are always the best and the most beautiful at that particular time.

Does Valentine’s Day get crazy?

Very crazy. On Valentine’s Day we usually do around 1500 deliveries or more. It’s picked up in popularity quite a bit over the last few years, so there is a lot going on. Red roses are still the most traditional choice, but we are starting to send flowers to quite a few guys now, which is a new thing.

What other flowers are in fashion at the moment?

Siam Tulips, which are part of the ginger family, are very fashionable at the moment. Orchids are still quite popular and Oriental Lillies, which are the ones with the beautiful fragrance.

How did you start out in floristry?

I have been in the industry for about 25 years. I’m a national Interflora judge, have represented Australia in four World Cups. I also do quite a few lectures and demonstrations on floral design, and fashions and trends.

Are the competitions really competitive?

It is very competitive. You do a state level first and then, if you win that, you represent your state for the national title. From there, you go on to represent Australia for a world placing. It’s a timed challenge and often you don’t know in advance what you are going to be working with, so you only have a limited amount of time to decide what you are going to do. It’s quite fascinating to look at the different floral designs that people come up with using the same material.

What are the different career opportunities for florists?

There are basically two types of florists – there are the more customer-related jobs where you work in a shop environment, taking orders and producing them. Then there are workroom florists, that the bigger florists have, who just work to produce the orders. We still liaise with the customers for special requests, and weddings and other important events. A lot of florists have specialities whether it’s wedding work, function work or general orders.

What does it take to be a good florist?

A good understanding of design, colour and a real flair – anyone can go to art school, but something really needs to come from within when you look at the flowers and put them together.

Is there a course that florists can do?

Yes, there is a three-year TAFE course that a lot of people do. It’s good because it has a theoretical as well as practical base, but it’s the on-the-job experience which really matters.

How is the work–life balance? Does the job consume your life a bit?

It does. I think that because nature is all around us, florists tend to look at the outside world quite differently and think about how we might incorporate it into our work.

Any advice for someone wanting to become a florist?

I think if someone has a passion and a love for colour and flowers, they should definitely try it. And persevere!

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