Aubree Nelson Lavender Haven

Hillsboro florist Aubree Nelson pieces through buckets of flowers she has stored in her home office. The Sanford Hillsboro Medical Center nurse opened her business Lavender Haven in August.

Business is blooming for Aubree Nelson.

What started as a part-time hobby for the Sanford Health Hillsboro nurse has turned into busy nights and weekends crafting floral arrangements for friends, family and customers.

The extra workload hasn’t been a thorn in her side, however.

Instead, the side gig – Lavender Haven – has been a chance for her to stop and smell the roses.

“I have a lot of ideas with this,” Nelson says with a laugh. “Sometimes I’ll be up until two in the morning because I lose track of time doing this, but I love it.”

Nelson began dabbling with flowers about three years ago after she and her family of four moved to Hillsboro from California. 

A native of the Golden State, Nelson said the shift to rural North Dakota was a big life change – especially with two young children at home. 

However, the move to Hillsboro and the spacious yard that came with her house meant Nelson could garden to her heart’s content. 

“I love plants, like almost obsessively,” she jokes. “We have so much more land here than what you get out in California.”

The flowers and plants she grew took on even more meaning to her over the past year and a half, however.

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