I love photographing Australian native flowers but as I live in the city it’s not always easy to find good specimens in the wild. My favourite place to go is the Sydney Flower Markets at Flemington. On Saturday mornings I set my alarm for 5.00am, get ready quickly and pack my trolley into my car. It’s only a 20-minute drive from my home to the markets. I really love the dark, deserted streets at this time of the day. The birds are greeting the dawn and the city feels like it belongs to me alone.
It’s a different story as I approach the markets where the hustle and bustle of market traders, trucks and forklifts vie for space on the road. I park my car and take the lift down to the ground level. The first sound I hear is the crowing of the live roosters in their cages in the produce area. I walk past and cross the road to the flower market which is already busy. There are only two or three growers who specialise in Australian native flowers so I quickly scout their stalls to see what is on offer. If I’m lucky I’ll find some beauties like the red gum blossom in the photograph above. Gum blossoms are available from mid-December through mid-January and, once picked from the tree, they don’t last very long. They are very rewarding to photograph so I am always hopeful of finding some.
Like all flowers, Australian native flowers are seasonal. I can find flannel flowers and waratahs in Spring, kangaroo paws as early summer commences and then the beautiful gum blossoms, banksias and grevilleas.
Once I’ve loaded my trolley I return home to fill vases with water and display the flowers on my dining table. My cat, Tilly, is quick to jump up and investigate and to smell the subtle perfume of the bush which clings to the flowers.
Over the next few days I carefully take each vase to my studio to photograph the flowers in natural light.
These photographs are available to order as fine-art prints on my online store.