Jill Colby holds a bouquet of Sicamous-grown flowers out front of her ‘Petal Pod’ storefront at Bruhn Crossing, 1214 Riverside Avenue in Sicamous. She was selling flowers alongside her partner of 13 years, Bevan Burke, on Aug. 20, 2021. (Zachary Roman/Eagle Valley News)

Jill Colby holds a bouquet of Sicamous-grown flowers out front of her ‘Petal Pod’ storefront at Bruhn Crossing, 1214 Riverside Avenue in Sicamous. She was selling flowers alongside her partner of 13 years, Bevan Burke, on Aug. 20, 2021. (Zachary Roman/Eagle Valley News)

Sicamous florist puts heart and soil into her business

Jill Colby’s business, Heart and Soil Flower Farm and Design, is all about local flowers

Jill Colby grows all the flowers she sells in her Sicamous backyard, except for the ones she grows in her friend’s Sicamous backyard.

But if you saw her ‘Petal Pod’, a trailer-turned-storefront at 1214 Riverside Avenue, you’d think she had an international flower supplier.

Colby has been in the business of gardening and growing flowers for about 10 years, the past four of which have been spent running her business, Heart and Soil Flower Farm and Design.

On Aug. 20, she was selling flowers alongside her partner of 13 years, Bevan Burke. Colby said her favourite flowers that time of year are dahlias.

“Dahlias are really coming on strong now and they come in so many varieties,” said Colby.

“They’re great for weddings and cut flowers, they’re very special.”

She starts most of her flowers in February under lights in her house. Later, she moves the flowers to her greenhouse, and finally, the field.

Colby usually doesn’t start selling flowers until May or June. She said Sicamous’ long growing season and good climate allow her to grow tons of different flowers.

Coming from a family of farmers, horticulture is in Colby’s blood. Still, she honed her skills in a variety of different jobs before branching out and launching her own business. In the past, she’s worked as a landscaper, an organic vegetable farmer and a floral designer.

“When I worked at the vegetable farm, I thought I’d grow food forever,” said Colby.

“I just kind of transitioned into flowers. I’ve always been an artist, so once I learned how to put flowers together and make art out of them it evolved into this.”

Colby said running her flower business fuses a lot of her interests and skills.

She loves the idea of supporting local, and is trying to change the way people think about where and how people get their flowers.

“So many of the flowers bought in grocery stores now are imported, and there’s a huge carbon footprint that goes along with that,” said Colby.

“There’s a lot of waste and unnecessary chemicals too.”

The summer of 2021 marks Colby’s second year selling flowers at her current location, as part of the Bruhn Crossing Urban Market. Colby said she loves the “all in it together” atmosphere of the Market and said its been a great way to build her business without breaking the bank.

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@roman_reports
zachary.roman@saobserver.net

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