Flamingo Florist story began on 1st July 1956 when Don Ellison’s opening a florist shop in Nowra. Flamingo Florist supplied all the floral tributes when the aircraft carrier H.M.A.S. Melbourne collided with the destroyer H.M.A.S. Voyager in 1964 in Jervis Bay and 82 lives were lost. The main floral tribute was shown on the front page of many Australian newspapers. They would deliver over 500 arrangements each Mother’s Day which was a mammoth task for the two of them in the 1960s.
At the age of 19 Peter Phelps along with John Murray and Kathy Harris purchased Belle Fleur Florist along with the Flamingo Florist to form the foundations that lasted 42 years. Peters working life commenced on the 1st July 1976. He found it exciting going to the Sydney markets when they were at Pyrmont meeting growers and like-minded people, hearing the stories, watching and learning.
Chris Van Turnhout who was a Dutch Master moved to the district in the late 90s he played a huge roll in the development of Flamingo’s reputation, he directly supplied from the markets and introduced an enormous amount of knowledge that Peter implemented, today the roll of supply is carried on by Peters business partner Vinod (Rajah) who has expanded the supply chain incorporating the Highlands and Wollongong.
Today it is not uncommon to have 20 to 30 flower varieties on the floor and up to 75% imported from all around the world. Roses from Columbia from Ecuador and Africa. Orchids from Thailand foliage’s from Malaysia or Chrysanthemums from Vietnam even Peonies from Italy. Irises were only available in the springtime, now they’re available all year round. With technical knowledge and specific breeding programs, growers can produce almost anything at any time and post harvesting Technics are so good and transportation channels are so extensive nearly anything is possible within the flower industry.
Flamingo Florist won the Sydney Markets Florist of the Month award in June 2008, August 2010 and June 2012.
Annette, Peter’s wife, who had been running their other florist shop, Belle Fleur Florist which was located in Morrison’s Arcade joined Flamingo in their shift to Worrigee St. Annette being one of the first graduates to receive a level 4 certificate in floristry from Ultimo Tafe a first for Nowra. She demonstrated at the annual conference of the Australian Garden Society at Sydney University.She successfully forged her own slice of history in being one of Nowra’s leading business women.
Peter and Annette sold Flamingo Florist Christmas 2017 and have retired. The ownership has now been purchased by Rajah and Vedi for the continuation of the next chapter.