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Business Is Blooming For This Idyllic, Family-Owned Flower Farm In NSW

Creative People

Jonima Flowers is a true family business. Founded 13 years ago by third generation flower grower John Padovano and his wife Ingrid Padovano, the flower farm today grows over a 100 varieties of seasonal blooms a year, and has expanded to involve the couple’s now four children. 

There have been many curve balls thrown at Jonima Flowers and other Australian growers over the past decade, but the last year has been particularly challenging. We spoke with Ingrid about what she’s been doing to diversify the business in Yanderra, NSW (on the border of the Southern Highlands), and the ongoing benefits of buying local, seasonal flowers. 

14th September, 2020

The team behind Jonima Flowers – the Padovano family! John, Ingrid, and their children Nicola, 17, Marco 15, Luca, 13, and Daniella, 11. (By the way, these photos were taken a few years ago, so the children look more grown up now!) Photo – Abbie Mellé

The flower farm is located in Yanderra, NSW, about 100 kilometres south-west of Sydney, on the border of the Southern Highlands. Photo – Abbie Mellé

Living on a flower farm makes for a seriously photogenic home! Photo – Abbie Mellé

Over a 100 flower varieties are grown on this 25-acre property, from dahlias, to natives such as kangaroo paw and silver gum, and exotics including ranunculuses and poppies. Photo – Abbie Mellé

John is a third generation flower grower! Photo – Abbie Mellé

All flowers on the farm are grown seasonally using only natural processes and no preservatives, which means no one flower is available year round.  Photo – Abbie Mellé

The children are all involved in some facet of farm life. Photo – Abbie Mellé

Summer is dahlia season! Photo – Abbie Mellé

Ingrid in the field. Photo – Abbie Mellé

Ingrid describes her flower bouquet style as ‘wild and free’, featuring unstructured blooms and twisting elements that mimic the earth. Photo – Abbie Mellé

Jonima Flowers sells wholesale, at farmers’ markets, via deliveries to their local community, directly from their flower shed, and creates seasonal arrangements for events. Photo – Abbie Mellé

Nicola is the creative of the family’s children. Photo – Abbie Mellé

 A silver lining of the pandemic has been more people rediscovering the unrivalled vibrancy and freshness of local blooms. Photo – Abbie Mellé

We recommend following Jonima Flowers on Instagram to vicariously experience this family’s totally idyllic lifestyle! Photo – Abbie Mellé

The flower farm has been operating for 13 years. Photo – Abbie Mellé

Amelia Barnes
Monday 14th September 2020

‘We’re very much focused on the fact we’re local and seasonal, and the benefits that provides.’ – Ingrid Padovano

Flowers must run in the blood of the Padovano family who own Jonima Flowers in Yanderra, NSW, about 100 kilometres south-west of Sydney.

John Padovano is a third generation flower grower who established the business with his wife Ingrid Padovano 13 years ago. Back then, the couple only had two children, Nicola and Marco, (now 17 and 15 years old) but have since welcomed Luca and Daniella (now 13 and 11), all of whom are involved in some facet of farm life. ‘You find each of them have their own unique thing that they love about the farm, and we just encourage them and let them build that,’ says Ingrid of her children. ‘Marco for example loves working on the farm, so you always see him out there. He’s developed the same passion my husband has.’ 

Over a 100 flower varieties are now grown on the 25-acre property, from dahlias, to natives such as kangaroo paw and silver gum, and exotics including ranunculuses and poppies. All flowers are grown seasonally using only natural processes, which means no one flower is available year round. 

Farms like Jonima are sadly increasingly rare in Australia, due to the huge rise in flower imports over the past decade. Ingrid says while there were once around 90 rose growers in Australia, this has diminished to about 20. ‘We’ve had to deal with the concept of imports coming into Australia and working out how to create a niche for our business so we can actually survive,’ Ingrid says. ‘We’re very much focused on the fact we’re local and seasonal, and the benefits that provides.’ 

Australian farmers have also had to contend with the ongoing drought, and many growers, including Jonima, were affected by the recent bushfires. ‘The past year has been a whirlwind,’ Ingrid says. 

One of the main ways Jonima Flowers has been able to continue is by selling at farmers’ markets across NSW and Canberra, where the family can meet customers and educate them about the local industry. ‘It’s about providing that information, not just selling the flowers, so people have confidence in what we do,’ Ingrid says. 

The last six months have obviously delivered their own set of challenges, but Jonima has again risen to the occasion. A silver lining of the pandemic has been more people rediscovering the unrivalled vibrancy and freshness of local blooms, due to restrictions on imports. Ingrid says she’s never seen such high demand for at-home flowers from customers seeking a closer connection to nature during these isolated times. 

Jonima Flowers also sells wholesale, delivers to their local community, and creates seasonal arrangements for events. Ingrid describes her flower bouquet style as ‘wild and free’, featuring unstructured blooms and twisting elements that mimic the earth. ‘How I see nature, that’s how I create,’ she says. While the farm is not open to the public to roam, customers can also purchase flowers on site from the flower shed.

In the meantime, we highly recommend following Jonima Flowers on Instagram to vicariously experience this family’s idyllic farm life!

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net