Blooms on Darby

Business is blooming

Florists and co-owners of Blooms on Darby Melissa and Natalie Hart share the art of fresh design.


It’s an early start for Blooms on Darby mother-daughter duo Nat and Mel.

Their day begins well before sunrise when they drive the M1 to the Sydney Flower Markets at 3am in a bid to source the best blooms for their fresh creations. For Mel, the early morning starts are a 34-year-old tradition, a ritual only halted through pregnancies and house moves. For daughter Nat, the drive is where the ideas start to from, her mind already conceptualising the textures, colours, tones and size of flowers and foliage she hopes will be in stock, and with any luck can be purchased from local suppliers.

The pair have been sharing the drive for more than eight years after Nat left her events management career to join her mum in the thriving small business.

The drive, often shared in silence, is the first step in a day that will be filled with creative tasks flanked by thoughtful purchasing and delivery deadlines, in a job where no two days are the same.

Blooms on Darby Street


When they return to Blooms on Darby after the drive, Nat and Mel are joined by their small hardworking team all engaged in the art of unpacking flowers, recutting stems, refreshing water, and the arranging of displays. 

It’s a regular to-do list that requires the efforts of all five of them, and their couriers, to keep up with the influx of online orders while maintaining a shopfront.

“Working with a fresh product comes with its own challenges,” Mel says. “Flowers need lots of care and attention. Changing climates are not ideal, and neither were the recent floods. The weather also means fluctuating costs. We’re not always in control of what flowers we get and what we pay for them.

“Flowers are seasonal, they need the right conditions to be at their best. Some don’t like the heat, others won’t survive the cold, there are some that hate the humidity and others thrive in it, and some are fussier than others.”


Once the morning orders are complete Mel and Nat can turn their attention to functions. Some of their largest orders come from Christmas parties, birthdays, weddings, christenings, hens’ parties, baby showers, gender reveals and funerals.

With delivery drivers continuing to come and go from the Darby Blooms on Darby Street address, bouquets are being distributed throughout the region, stretching as far as Lake Macquarie to Medowie. And all the while people will be dropping into the shop during their lunch breaks to source a creative, living gift or gesture.

The afternoon also brings a welcome chance for Nat to work on the business’ website and social media platforms. She is currently using her talents to refresh its look, preferring a more urban approach moving forward.

There have been some changes to the wedding side of the business too, named Ruby Blooms after the family’s long-haired Persian cat.

Flowers – Some don’t like the heat, others won’t survive the cold, there are some that hate the humidity and others thrive in it, and some are fussier than others.


Although the doors of the popular Darby Street florist will close at 5pm, business doesn’t wind down as the clock draws nearer. As the team begins preparing for the following day, they’ll often lend a helping hand to the husband grabbing a bouquet for his wife on the way from work, or the passersby who remembered the birthday of a friend. The team will usually sell the last of the day’s bouquets just before the doors close.

For any leftover bouquets, Nat’s two young daughters have been known to wander Darby Street offering bunches to strangers. “It’s about paying it forward,” Mel says. “We love Darby Street and everything it represents. We’ve been here for years and we know acts like this are what make it a special street.

“Doorstep blooms we call them, random acts of kindness. Our couriers might also drop off leftover bunches to people they know are in need.”

Blooms on Darby

169 Darby Street, Cooks Hill. 

Monday to Friday 8:30am – 5pm
Saturday 9am – 1pm
Sundays & Public Holidays Closed