The first day of the rest of my blooming life

I sit here on the eve of The Nectary’s official launch, wondering what I have done! We are in the middle of a pandemic, restrictions have today been tightened again, and the economy, well it has seen better days. But hey, let's open a floristry business... To be fair, I started on this journey a few years back and put the plans into motion long before COVID-19, so I’ve decided to hell with it and to just keep on going and see where my dreams take me. There is apparently never a better time than the present!

Long before I had dreams of being a florist, I trained as a psychologist. I earned my doctorate in Glasgow and since then have lived in Texas, New Zealand, and Switzerland designing and setting up local, national and international healthcare programs. Although I was immensely proud of the work I did, I wanted something else. I was never far from dreaming of working with nature but at the time, I struggled to make these dreams anywhere near realistic.

The link between nature and well-being is undeniable, it can transform our moods, our environments and even our health. I began to explore working with nature more and more, creating things, growing fruits, vegetables and flowers, and attending a bunch of workshops and classes. Looking back there was a definite theme running through all of my new favorite ‘hobbies’ - FLOWERS.

One day as I sat in parc de l’indépendance, my local park in Switzerland, surrounded by 10’s of thousands of tulips, the answer to my years of day dreaming was now incredibly simple - I should be a florist!

Within a week I had handed in my notice at work and began to make a plan.

Over the next 18 months I bought and consumed as many books as possible, trained under Dutch and French florists, worked in a high-end floral boutique in Switzerland, and earned my Diploma in Floristry and Event Styling at the Judith Blacklock Flower School in London - one of the most prestigious and one of a few certified courses in the UK.

Now that I have some experience behind me and a shiny piece of paper that says I can do it, all that’s left to do now - is to do it! Which brings us to tomorrow and the launch of The Nectary and my first ever business. Eek!

My vision for The Nectary is to bring people a little closer to nature in a stylish and sustainable way. It’s important for me to be proud of the Nectary and for it to fit with my personal values. That’s why I have taken conscious decisions wherever possible to ensure we are as environmentally friendly as we can be. I don’t want to be a florist who sells an eco-friendly bouquet – I want to be an eco-friendly florist that sells stylish bouquets, with a hint of Dutch mastery, French flair, Swiss elegance, London trend and Ayrshire country charm.

If anything, these strange times that we are living in drives home the importance of our natural world, our pleasures, our happiness, and our ability to show and experience care and love. So maybe it’s the best time in history to open a floristry business. Who knows?!

Anyway, wish me luck...And you can see my freshest designs here!

Merci Bouquet



  • Elaine Robinson

    Thank you very much for the most beautiful flowers received unexpectedly today. Good luck 🍀 with your new venture and what an inspirational story!! 💐

  • Laura Dempster

    Best of luck Jillian, not that you’ll need it. Your bouquets look amazing and I can’t wait to order soon xx

  • Jacqualine Hastie

    Well done you, I hope many people will be inspired by your story especially young people who must find these difficult times very stressful and feel restricted. I would not normally reply but you have made an older lady hopeful. Thank you.

  • Evelyn Murdoch

    Thank you for my lovely flowers they are so beautiful. 💐💐

  • Shona Macpherson

    Wishing you all the best. You deserve to be successful!

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