Words by Della Vreeland
Katie Marx’s relationship with the natural world can be described as thus.
“A lifetime love affair.”
Growing up on a farm in regional New Zealand, the florist says she was instilled with an affinity for her surroundings from a young age.
“Mum was a landscaper, so we had this incredible garden growing up, and I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t have a patch of garden where I was allowed to plant my own stuff,” Katie recalls.
But it wasn’t just her farmhouse lifestyle that conjured Katie’s love for the earth. For the mother-of-two, being immersed in nature is seen as a form of meditation.
For me, going for a bushwalk or camping and having that stillness seems like a real meditation.
“Our family goes camping as much as we can, and it’s being in nature with no other people around, and the stillness and life that is going on around you, that I adore so much.
“I love walking through the Australian bush and driving past places that may not seem like anything at first glance. But when you take notice and you see that detail and beauty in everything – it brings me so much joy.”
Katie decided to officially harness her passion for flowers and foliage into a business venture over a decade ago, launching her very own floristry business out of her humble kitchen bench in Northcote.
Fast forward 14 years, and she is currently based in Newstead with her partner, Greg, and their two girls.
Her family are the proud owners of the multi-purpose hub that is Butterland – a former butter factory lovingly restored into a space where heritage, nature and creation combine.
Katie says it took close to six months to return the factory back to its former glory, with the building also used as a candle factory up until 2009.
Since taking over ownership, Katie and Greg have transformed the heritage-listed property, celebrating its history while giving it a whole new lease on life.
The space plays host to many number of events, weddings, workshops and soirees, each characterised by Katie’s incredible floristry and underlined by her strong work ethos which is based on a love for native fauna and the use of seasonal and sustainable materials.
“I’ve always had a strong connection to nature and I hope my work makes other people aware of their connection too.
“I want people to look closely around them and realise that they don’t have to buy stuff all the time. There are so many beautiful things we can use in our everyday lives.”
A huge advocate for supporting local growers and industry, Katie is also part of a sustainable floristry project which is devoted to promoting mindful floristry.
“I try not to preach or be a martyr. It’s just about trying to make the florists coming through a bit more mindful in their work,” she says.
“Just because your grandmother was a florist and did it one way, doesn’t mean you have to.”
Katie’s passion is real. Her love affair with flowers and foliage is clear. Her desire to maintain natural beauty for generations to come is more than apparent.
“I love regional Victoria and can’t imagine ever moving back to the city. I’ll always be a country girl now.”
To find out more about Katie’s work, as well as her workshops and events, hit up the Butterland website.
FIND OUT MORE: Butterland