Backcreek Country specialises in breeding and propagating the Australian native Flannel flower, Actinotus helianthi.
Initially started as Backcreek Country Enterprises in 2005, the business was started by Lana Mitchell, a woman with a passion for growing things botanical and wanting to start a home-based business while she had a family on a rural property on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales.
Over 7 years the business grew from strength to strength, and Lana Mitchell was been recognised with a number of awards and scholarships for her work with Flannel flowers and the wildflower industry. She was awarded a scholarship in 2007 by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for innovative work in growing Flannel flowers hydroponically. In 2008, she was awarded “Young Achiever of the Year” by the Flower Association of Queensland and in 2010, Lana was awarded the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award for NSW. Lana is currently the ACT region Ambassador for the Australian Year of the Farmer.
Backcreek Country initially grew Flannel flowers as cut-flowers for domestic markets and for overseas. For several years blooms were exported to the USA, UK, Europe and Japan.
In 2009 the business model was changed based on the heavy demand for the blooms and the problems with securing a steady supply of propagation material. This also coincided with Lana Mitchell’s family growing and her conclusion that trying to nurture thousands of plants as well as two small children under the age of 5 was proving to be an impossible task.
Backcreek Country now licenses commercial cut-flower growers in Australia and overseas to supply the increasing demand for Flannel flowers, specifically a variety entitled ‘White Romance’ with tall stems and large blooms.