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Most of us love receiving a beautiful floral arrangement, or buying flowers to enjoy in our home. Until recently, thinking about these flowers from an environmental and sustainability point of view (to me) hadn’t extended far beyond whether the arrangement included Australian natives or not, and a bit about the packaging.

Then Handpicked Ethical Floristry joined The Mill Castlemaine community.

Imagine our dismay at learning that many flowers are imported from other countries!
They come with high travel miles, a huge amount of non-biodegradable packaging, and are sprayed with harmful chemicals.

Handpicked Ethical Floristry buys from local growers, and constantly researches and opts for flowers that have been grown with consideration and care for the environment, favouring flower growers who use minimal or no plastic wrapping to sell and transport their flowers.

Handpicked uses environmentally friendly wrapping and avoids the use of cellophane and plastics. Ali collects her stems, leaves and any other green waste and composts it locally.

Once your flowers are at an end, you are encouraged to dispose of them in your green waste bin, or in your own compost area.

So who is Ali?

Alison (Ali) Troup is a qualified and experienced florist who started in the industry over 20 years ago. Ali has worked in top boutiques, hotels and event florists in London, Melbourne, Daylesford and Castlemaine. Confident in her technical skills and flower knowledge Ali has a considered and attentive approach to her work.

You will see Ali’s handiwork in a number of businesses in Castlemaine and surrounds.

She’s also a whiz at creating floral arrangements for business events and weddings. Pop over to her website or Instagram to see her stunning work.


In season now

As a big feature of ethical floristry is seasonality, Ali is always quick to share what’s in season with readers.
Currently the star of the show is dahlias. These blooms are incredibly diverse in colour, size, petal arrangement and length and feature in a lot of her work in late summer.

‘In the drier months of the year, we see few native flowers at the flower market, but soft petalled flowers are plentiful and incredibly beautiful!’ explains Ali.

In season are dahlia, zinna, sunflowers, echinacea, roses, cosmos, amaranthus, hydrangea, celosia, veronica, sedum, and scabiosa, many of which can be seen in these wedding arrangements Ali recently designed and set in place at Chateau Dore in Bendigo.

Ali founded Handpicked to provide an alternative for those who wanted the flowers they buy to reflect the way they care for their environment and their community. Ethical, supportive and sustainable – a perfect match for The Mill Castlemaine’s values.

Order online for delivery to Castlemaine and surrounds, or for collection by appointment from the florist studio at The Mill Castlemaine.

Contact Ali on 0435 457135 or by email on for events and special occasion flowers.