With the middle name of ‘Rose’, it seems fitting that Sandy McKinley has cultivated a life surrounded by flowers. Whilst all things botanical have been a lifelong passion for Sandy, this enthusiasm became all the more serious in 2007, when she stumbled across the listing for a ramshackle miner’s cottage in Trentham, a charming heritage town in the Hepburn Shire of Victoria. It had all the foundations of a dream country escape, plus an acre of paddocks to plant the tiny flower farm she had always longed for.
Sandy and her partner Rob set about removing the fields of wild blackberries overgrowing the paddocks in order to plant 1,000 roses (!) acquired from a local tree nursery. The pair’s local affiliations grew from there, as they joined forces with neighbouring flower farm Crofters Fold to establish Consortium Botanicus, a network of slow flower farms across the shire.