Eileen Collins only recently realised she suffers from hay fever but is refusing to give up the job she loves.
She had put her symptoms down to persistent colds and being exposed to the elements.
The 61-year-old grandmother said: “I was getting worse and worse until I ended up with a chest infection.
“I was astonished when I was told it was hay fever, and the doctor gave me an inhaler and some antihistamines.
“I just have to try to get myself through the day but it can bring on sneezing and coughing fits that just won’t stop.
“As for having flowers in the house, that’s an absolutely no-go. They just make me too unwell.
“I suppose it’s a case of my body saying ‘enough is enough’.”
Grandmother Eileen finds lilies are the worst for triggering her hay fever. She said: “Lilies are a nightmare, they set me off straight away.”
Eileen began her career as a florist on a stall in Rochdale in 1975.
She said: “I’ve always liked flowers and I’ve always had an interest in making things.
“I still like getting my teeth into something unusual. I probably enjoy funeral work more than weddings as you can really get to work on creating something special.
“Everything has always got to be just right.“
Among her career highlights was the creation of the bunch of flowers handed to singer Gracie Fields when she visited Rochdale in 1978 to unveil a statue.
Eileen, who works on the Simply Flowers stall in Rochdale, said: “Apart from the time I took off to have my children, I’ve worked on the market stall ever since.”