Sunday, July 21, 2024

A Country Girl at Heart

Rosaline Darlington is best-known for being on the most recent series of Married at First Sight on E4. But away from the glitz and glamour of the show, she works as a florist and runs her own businesses, Rosaline’s Flowers and The Flower Paddock. She talks to Lynda Clark about her very interesting life, buying her own home at 21, and gives some sound advice for first time buyers.

“I have always been a saver as well so it made sense to invest in a home of my own”

Rozz, as she likes to be called, is very bubbly with a wonderful infectious attitude towards life and a great sense of humour. Talking to her, I immediately felt I had known her all my life and I was carried away with her wonderful positive attitude towards everything. Her parents ran a dairy farm near Crewe and she is their middle daughter and all three girls are very close. She said, “I was so fortunate to grow up on a farm, I am very free-spirited and loved running around the farm and being outside as much as possible. My passion is horse riding and my youngest sister, Millie, and I would spend hours riding together. We were lucky enough to have our own ponies and as we grew up we had horses. My absolute favourite horse was Tango who sadly died not long ago and we now have two Shetland ponies called Didi and Inka. We are having a little break from riding now as we are all so busy and Millie has a family, which takes up all her time, but it is my true passion. When I was about five, my dad decided to sell the farm and turn it into a business park so he sold all the livestock. They still live there though and all my family are nearby as we are very close.”

At school, Rozz wasn’t the most academic as she always enjoyed being outside and not in the classroom, but she passed her exams and went to college to study childcare. “I completed the course and then became a nanny, which I really enjoyed. It was fun and I was able to take the children out and about, which suited me very well as it wasn’t a job where I was sitting inside all day. I then realized that because I love nature and the outdoors, gardening and flowers were very important to me. The mother of the children I looked after, who was a doctor, used to teach me all the names of the flowers in the garden. It was nature and nurture I suppose and was like a little escape. My interest in flowers must be in my family as my grandmother has won awards for her flowers.”

Passion Blossoms into Business

She completed her City and Guilds Level 3 Floristry at Reaseheath College and set up her business, Rosaline’s Flowers. “I sat with my family around the kitchen table and the idea came to me that I should start a business in the thing I loved, which is inspired by the colours and textures found in natural and floral landscapes.” She works out of a unit on the converted family farm and has a website offering everything from wedding bouquets and funeral tributes to Valentine’s Day and birthday flowers and the now very trendy jam jar flowers. She also runs wreath-making courses that are very popular, and sells seed packets, which include three packs of seeds, instruction cards, compost and much more. There are also subscriptions people can take out to receive flowers regularly, which again is proving very popular. “I am always thinking up new ways to grow the business and looking ahead to what I can do each season. It’s always very exciting and it doesn’t feel like work!”

Nurturing Nature’s Bounty

During 2020 and 2021, when the UK was in the midst of the pandemic, Rozz decided to plant a flower paddock. “I love growing my own flowers from seeds and watching them flourish and then using them for Rosaline’s Flowers.” The Flower Paddock has been a real success story and she says, “I love delphiniums, dahlias, cosmos, peonies, sweet peas and sunflowers to name a few. I have learned to grow the plants from seed, when to harvest the flowers and how to manage the plants in all types of weather conditions. I now run classes and open days there, which are great fun!”

Homeownership and Television Stardom

When she was just 21, her older sister Charlotte, who lives near to the family home, decided to sell her house as she was having a baby and needed more space. Rozz made the big decision to buy the house having been left some money from her grandfather which helped with her deposit. “I have always been a saver as well so it made sense to invest in a home of my own. It is a lovely house – detached on a corner plot so the garden goes all the way round the house. It has three bedrooms and I live there with my three dogs, Willow, Maple and Honey. I have had some work done on it to make it my own and I really love living here.”

She decided to apply to go on the TV show Married at First Sight and explains, “I had broken up with my boyfriend and my wonderful horse, Tango, had died so I was at a rather low point of my life. It was probably an escape but I never imagined I would get chosen. I was probably a little naive but I quickly learnt that my skin was thicker than I thought and I had to be robust and believe in myself. “I had great support from the public and the rest of the cast and I actually gained thousands of followers and have a big fan base. I have about 181,000 personal followers and 13,000 on Rosaline’s Flowers and 6,000 on The Flower Paddock. I think the main thing is that when I was on the show I was always honest, respectful and transparent, which are all very important to me. I was away filming the series for three months and my parents were very supportive and looked after the dogs for me and my business, so I was very lucky.”

At 28, Rozz has already done so much and has some exciting plans in the pipeline. She would like to do some more work in television but she is passionate about floristry and the great outdoors. “There is nothing I enjoy more than taking the dogs for a walk and meeting up with friends. I would like to get married one day and have children and build a family but I am living in the moment and I am free to go down whichever path I choose.”

She has some great advice for first time buyers and said, “Keep a spreadsheet of your income and outgoings. It really helps and you can forecast how much you can save and what you can afford. Realistically you need to live and pay the bills and I think a spreadsheet really helps you focus on your finances. I am also always aware that things can sometimes suddenly go wrong – like the boiler needs attention – so I like to make sure I have a contingency fund to pay for any emergencies.”

Rozz is a very special person and so full of enthusiasm and truly has a positive outlook on everything she does. It was time to take her dogs for a walk and I wished I could have joined her and spent some time in the beautiful countryside where she lives – in my opinion she has an idyllic life and one that I am rather jealous of!

Find out more about Rosaline Darlington:

Instagram: @rozzdarlington

First Time Buyer is an exciting bi-monthly glossy which takes a stylish and comprehensive look at all the options available, setting them out in an entertaining and informative way, and helping potential customers navigate their way through what is often a daunting and complex process. We dispel the myths, reinforce the facts and arm the reader with the tools necessary to make their homeownership dreams a reality.

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