Competing at a flower show at age 14 led Carol Tuohey to a career in floristry that spanned more than five decades.
Carol, who owns The Petal Factory in Bridge Street, will retire at the end of October and hand the keys to the business to a new owner.
Carol worked at The Petal Factory for seven years before becoming the owner 18 years ago.
"I think this is the best job in the world and I'm very lucky. My lease is finishing and I wasn't up to signing on for another three, six or nine years," she said. "I couldn't have a better person take over, she'll be amazing.
"I have just loved the flowers and the joy it brings people in happy times and sad times. I love the beauty of them, being around them is calming and a lovely."
Carol, who favours Bird of Paradise flowers and orchids, credits her grandmother for giving her an interest in flowers.
"My grandmother and I were bought up around flowers," she said. "The Bendigo Addy took my photo at a show at the Town Hall when I was 14 and a chap who was a big florist in Bendigo came and saw mum and asked if I wanted to do floristry.
"Mum said, 'no I was going to be a mothercraft nurse, but I decided to go (see the florist) when 15 and he said I could take a job for school holidays.
"I did floristry for six weeks and said I would go back to school but I loved it. (The florist said) there would be plenty of time for mothercraft when got a family. And I had four children, so I did."
During retirement, Carol hopes to travel and spend time with her family who have been called in to deliver on the business' busiest days.
"My husband Frank does a lot of background work and a lot of deliveries. He coordinates that and comes in one day a week for deliveries," Carol said.
"But I round up the family (for days like Valentines Day). They have all worked in here in some form or another. They were all taught to wire flowers and condition them for water.
"It's not a one person job. I couldn't have done it without them and the wonderful staff I have had over years. One has been with me for 18 years and other 13 years."