Happy birthday to eco-friendly florist Vår Botanical!

Happy birthday to eco-friendly florist Vår Botanical!

It is Vår Botanical’s first birthday – so I thought it was a great time to finally post this article I’ve written about Ellen Cuskelly’s gorgeous floristry business.

Located on Samford Rd, Gaythorne (a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, located on the land of the Turrbal people), Vår Botanical’s ethos is to create kind and thoughtfully designed florals for gifts, the home and events. That said, she didn’t plan to open a flower shop. But when the opportunity presented itself, Ellen says she couldn’t refuse.

I had been a freelance florist for a few years, and decided to get my certificate at TAFE to better my employment opportunities. Upon my final month at TAFE, my brother-in-law called me to ask if I’d be interested in opening a shop at a retail space his boss owned. I laughed because being a broke-ass TAFE student, I had zero money. I’d even sold my car to pay for my TAFE course, so I had no assets either - just a broke little babe. So, of course I said “no”, but thanked him for thinking of me.

A few days later he called me again and said that his boss wanted me to open the shop in his space and that he would give me a loan to help me to get there. That generosity, along with the encouragement of friends and family, made the offer that was too good to pass up. I knew I wouldn’t get this kind of opportunity again, so here I am!


Ellen is committed to reducing her environmental impact wherever possible. If you follow her on Instagram, you’ll know she is proud – fiercely so – about the environment.

“Many people don’t realise that floristry is an often wasteful and environmentally harmful industry. Many florists use floral foam, or Oasis, to keep their blooms hydrated in arrangements, and this is a big problem because it is a single use plastic that doesn’t break down into anything but micro plastics that pollute our waterways. Additionally, the use of cellophane sheets for wrapping bouquets and all the flowers that don’t get used in time usually get thrown in a bin, not composted,” she says.  

Floral Foam Plastic

Ellen has carefully thought out solutions to avoid such a negative environmental impact. She doesn’t ever use floral foam and wraps her bouquets in recycled paper, "our green waste is composted, our cardboard, hard and soft plastics are recycled, and we use Australian grown flowers to reduce our carbon footprint, and we are always striving to do better," she says. "Not to mention, our designs are quite nice, too!"

She is also an animal lover and won’t create floral arrangements for racing events.

Nup to the Melbourne Cup

However, within these ethical parameters, Ellen designs a range of truly beautiful arrangements. They’re moody but also fun.  She does weddings, corporate and event floral styling, but also has a range of uniquely named bouquets – “Lil’ Wayne Posy” - for ordering online and in store. She has even found a source of Australian grown red roses for Valentine's Day!


Congratulations Ellen on your first year of business! Thanks for stocking studio Nikulinsky. I wish you all the best for many more years of floral goodness!

Are you an eco-florist, or do you choose eco-floristry businesses when you buy flowers? Let me know in the comments below.

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