Grower Spotlight : Kidman Flower Co
Australian wildflowers are blooming in popularity as we seek a more natural, sustainable floral style for our bouquets and vases.
Adelaide’s Finest stocks beautiful, fresh native flowers locally sourced from Kidman Flower Co. at Balhannah in the Adelaide Hills.
The farm is a family business run by Ange and Des Kidman who have 30 acres planted to native flowers including proteas, leucospermum, leucodendron, gum, tetragona and other varieties which are sold in popular “grower’s bunches” at Flowerbar.
“Native flowers are becoming more popular each year. Homewares trends have driven that wild, organic, textural vibe and they also last a long time so offer value for money,” Ange Kidman says.
“The flowers themselves are so structural and interesting that they barely need arranging. Just loosely shoved into a beautiful vase or a preserving jar – they still look amazing.”
Before running their flower farm, Ange and Des worked on Ange’s late father’s potato farm at Mount Gambier and then had a property in the Murray Mallee with a Geraldton wax plantation. Ange, who was a nurse at the time, ended up giving away nursing and dedicating her time to growing the flowers.
After a few years, the Kidmans made a life change in order to move closer to Adelaide and 22 years ago, they bought the Balhannah property. The couple arrived with a toddler and a new born (and a third son came later).
“We could not believe our luck. We came from the flat Mallee isolated landscape to this beautiful spot in the Adelaide Hills and we still, to this day, go outside and say ‘wow this place is gorgeous’,” Ange says.
Running the flower farm hasn’t all been roses (or should that be proteas?) with business ups and downs along the way such as 9/11 when the Kidmans’ export market at the time ground to a halt overnight. Covid was also a testing time for the Kidmans but for a different reason – everyone wanted flowers as a feelgood item to ease pandemic woes so it was a struggle to meet market demand.
“Over the years, we have struggled at certain points but we’ve had to reinvent ourselves every time,” Ange says.
Adelaide’s Finest has built strong links with many local growers and works hard to get the best, most fresh and affordable flowers – such as Kidman’s – for Flowerbar at Frewville and Pasadena.
“We are control freakish with our quality,” Ange says.
“We are scrupulous about people getting value and coming back again to buy our flowers. They’re a kick arse product and we are proud of them.
“We pick in rain, hail and shine, we have a team of 7, and we harvest 3 days a week from March to December and on the other days we pack and distribute.
“We do not export thesedays. The chemicals required to do it are just horrible. We grow without chemicals, we don’t spray so our flowers are sustainably grown and we are proud of that.”
Ange and Des have a positive working relationship with Adelaide’s Finest and, in particular, experienced head florist Janene Franklin at Frewville Flowerbar.
“Janene’s knowledge of the SA flower growing scene is the best there is. It’s quite exceptional. We really enjoy our relationship with Janene which is based on real trust between grower and florist,” Des Kidman says.