This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Micro Flower Farm In Trentham, Decades In The Making

Regional

Sandy McKinley lives and breathes roses. The self-trained florist has a lifetime of experience in flower growing and wedding design, and she also has her own tiny flower farm!

With her heart set on a weekend country house surrounded by flowers, in 2007, Sandy set out to transform a humble miner’s cottage in Trentham, Victoria and its surrounding paddocks into her own micro flower farm and dreamy country retreat – and so came about the idyllic Acre of Roses. After a recent upgrade in 2018, Sandy and her partner Rob have transformed the property into boutique accomodation.

Though those of us in metropolitan Melbourne aren’t going anywhere for the next little while, bookmark this delightful gem for future travels. And for those of you who can get out and about, this is the perfect weekend getaway!

13th July, 2020

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Sandy in her flower farm. Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Photo – Marnie Hawson.

Sasha Gattermayr
Monday 13th July 2020

With the middle name of ‘Rose’, it seems fitting that Sandy McKinley has cultivated a life surrounded by flowers. Whilst all things botanical have been a lifelong passion for Sandy, this enthusiasm became all the more serious in 2007, when she stumbled across the listing for a ramshackle miner’s cottage in Trentham, a charming heritage town in the Hepburn Shire of Victoria. It had all the foundations of a dream country escape, plus an acre of paddocks to plant the tiny flower farm she had always longed for.

Sandy and her partner Rob set about removing the fields of wild blackberries overgrowing the paddocks in order to plant 1,000 roses (!) acquired from a local tree nursery. The pair’s local affiliations grew from there, as they joined forces with neighbouring flower farm Crofters Fold to establish Consortium Botanicus, a network of slow flower farms across the shire.

From this initiative, sprang the Daylesford Macedon Slow Flower Farm Trail, where regional visitors can now obtain naturally grown flowers from a range of local, bee-friendly flower farms. Sandy’s emphasis on a holistic approach to organic flower farming has culminated in many other local collaborations, such as the rose petal kefir she makes with The Fermentary in Daylesford, as well as workshops on edible flowers and flower therapy she runs in summer!

This integrated approach to botanical living has worked incredibly well for Sandy’s own micro-farm, which today grows more than 1,700 roses. She and Rob retail their roses direct-to-consumer, as well as to DIY brides and florists. This hyperlocalised business model has driven Rob and Sandy into a niche but clever market – they specialise in elopements!

With this in mind, accommodation for a private, self-contained wedding seemed an essential addition to Sandy and Rob’s home-grown business. And so, in 2018 the pair set about upgrading the cottage on the property – re-stumping, re-flooring and re-decorating, with assistance from designer Belle Hemming Bright.

‘We wanted the look and feel to be nurturing, comfortable but luxurious,’ explains Sandy. Working with a collection of found and recycled objects Sandy had accumulated over the years, Belle created a subtle but distinct personality for every room, each of which connects to the overall Cape-Cod-meets-Country aesthetic maintained throughout the residence. Now known as Acre of Roses, the updated residence and thriving flower farm is now available for short term accommodation!

This idyllic country escape is a constant source of inspiration for Sandy, for whom the place is always a ‘work in progress’. In the future she plans to add a glass orangery off the main building, in order to create a conservatory-like dining space inspired by English farmhouse kitchens. After that, she plans to convert the dining room into a library and reinstate the original 1860s fireplace! And if Sandy gets her way, this will soon be followed by a studio barn on the rear of the site, fitted with copper hardware and detailing.

Acre of Roses is open for guests based outside of Metropolitan Melbourne who are still able to travel within Victoria. You can book your stay at The Miner’s Cottage here. The Potting Shed will re-open for guests on September 1st 2020.

This Week

TDF Design Awards

Presenting The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020 Residential Architecture Finalists!

From an off-the-grid cottage to a sustainable urban commune, these are the best residential architecture projects in Australia.
Lucy Feagins

Modernist Australia

A Fond Farewell To Modernist Australia!

Going, going... GONE! We bid a sad adieu to Trish Callan, and look back at some highlights from Modernist Australia, the website that raised...
Sasha Gattermayr

View Comments

Similar Stories

Gardens

A French Provincial Dreamland In West Gippsland, Inspired By Monet’s Giverny Garden!

A pair of Australian francophiles bring their love of the French countryside to regional Australia.
Sasha Gattermayr

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Events Florist Who Flipped Her Business Model To At-Home Delivery

How florist Gina Lasker of Georgie Boy has embraced a direct-to-consumer business model to support local flower growers during Covid:19.
Sasha Gattermayr

The Planthunter

An Artist's Blissful Garden Wonderland In Daylesford

Over 13 years Lily Langham has intuitively transformed her husband's inherited family farmland into a breathtaking, bountiful paradise.
Georgina Reid

This Week

Father's Day Favourites

Browse These Father's Day Favourites With 25% Off Thames & Hudson Australia!

From iconic local architecture to nontraditional takes on Australian history, browse our top picks for Dad, with 25% off from Thames & Hudso...
Lucy Feagins
  19 hours ago

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Fred’s Head Chef, Danielle Alvarez

Follow the daily routine of Danielle Alvarez, head chef of the renowned Paddington restaurant, Fred's!

TDF Collect

TDF Collect Presents 'Portalis' By Hannah Nowlan

A series of 15 richly textured paintings exploring retreat, regeneration and the rapidly changing world around us from the talented Victoria...

Studio Visit

Entering Lost Worlds With Oh Hey Grace Ceramics

Ceramicist Grace Brown explores dystopian landscapes and fallen civilisations in her debut solo show in Kyneton.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Sorrento Beach House Devoted To Its Modernist Past

Cera Stribley architects bring this 1960s delight into the 21st century, with careful restraint.
Sasha Gattermayr

Art

Sally Anderson's New Works Explore 'Home' As Landscape, In A Pandemic Age

The NSW-based artist's new exhibition explores the poetry of everyday spaces.
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

A European-Style, Beachside Melbourne Apartment!

The 1920s St Kilda apartment of friends John Wares and Peter Papadopoulos has been completely reconfigured in a beautiful renovation.
Lucy Feagins
  3 hours ago

TDF Design Awards

These Emerging Designers Are The Next Big Things!

Introducing the 8 showstopping finalists in the Emerging Designer category of The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020!
Lucy Feagins

News

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Launches Online!

Buy ethically traded art at the country’s largest Aboriginal art fair in its (now virtual) marketplace.

Homes

The Colourful Family Home Of Fenton & Fenton Owner, Lucy Fenton!

The Malvern home of Lucy Fenton, owner of Fenton & Fenton, is a vibrant, eclectic and thoroughly sunshine-y space!

Art

The Winners Of The 2020 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards

We share highlights and winners from the country's most anticipated award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists!

Father's Day Favourites

Announcing... The Design Files Father's Day Favourites!

We're making Father's Day easy with our first ever SHOPPABLE gift guide! Shop gift ideas from four Dad-worthy brands - and score special dis...
Lucy Feagins

Sustainable Homes

An Ultra Energy-Efficient Makeover Of A Victorian Country Home

In this country Victoria project, MRTN Architects prove even the coldest period houses can be updated to achieve incredible sustainability s...

News

Online Art Dealers Curatorial+Co. Open An IRL Gallery

Located in a 300 square metre warehouse, the Redfern gallery will offically launch with a female-led exhibition this Friday.
Sasha Gattermayr
  23 hours ago

News

Watch The National Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Art Awards Live!

Brooke Boney hosts the prestigious art awards ceremony, which will be broadcast online for the first time ever!

Similar Stories

Gardens

A French Provincial Dreamland In West Gippsland, Inspired By Monet’s Giverny Garden!

A pair of Australian francophiles bring their love of the French countryside to regional Australia.
Sasha Gattermayr

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Events Florist Who Flipped Her Business Model To At-Home Delivery

How florist Gina Lasker of Georgie Boy has embraced a direct-to-consumer business model to support local flower growers during Covid:19.
Sasha Gattermayr

The Planthunter

An Artist's Blissful Garden Wonderland In Daylesford

Over 13 years Lily Langham has intuitively transformed her husband's inherited family farmland into a breathtaking, bountiful paradise.
Georgina Reid