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By Concrete Playground
September 07, 2021
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By Concrete Playground
September 07, 2021
  shares

Whether you come home to a lush oasis of greenery or have killed so many plants that the High Plant Council would jail you for life without parole, gardeners run the gamut of experience. And just like caring for plants, buying them is a skill in itself. As you master the art of keeping hardier plants alive (hello, devil's ivy), you may feel the challenging trumpet of an orchid or banana plant and sweep the city in a hunt for green babies to add to your growing family.

Eschew Bunnings with a firm hand and head on down to these local boutique nurseries and markets for solid advice, rare finds and an abundance of crazy plant-lovin' folk.

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THE SOUL PANTRY

Plants, classes and a cafe. That's the garden shop trifecta, and it's exactly what The Soul Pantry offers. A visit to the Stafford spot will help you deck your halls with plenty of greenery, make sure you really know what you're doing, and keep your hunger and thirst at bay. As well as a range of indoor beauties — plus pots to put them in — you'll also find flowers of both the fresh and dried variety (for those who love nature, but know that keeping something alive is beyond their capabilities). Workshop-wise, you can learn about everything from table styling and terrariums to making succulent living wreaths. cp-line

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MAPPINS NURSERY + AQUARIUM

Nestled among a row of warehouses in West End, Mappins is the kind of place you might simply walk right past you didn't know it was there. The low-key nursery specialises in imposing cacti and lush indoor plants, as well as all your potential aquarium needs. Inside you'll find fluffy maidenhair ferns, long and lush devil's ivy, rigid philodendrons and monstera, as well as all the other darlings of the indoor plant world. The staff are passionate, knowledgeable and will make sure you leave knowing just how to keep your new green babies thrivin'. Plus it's just over the way from the West End Markets, and the perfect chaser to a Saturday morning spent eating lángos and petting other people's dogs.

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THE PLANT LOUNGE

This Nundah plant store comes with a serious pedigree — this isn't owner Rhiannon Campbell's first time in the garden. She was also behind the subscription service Botanic Box, which sent a different plant to your house each and every month. That kind of deal wasn't always going to be for everyone, though. So, to cater for browse-and-buy types, and folks who prefer to choose things themselves or just don't like surprises all that much, Campbell started The Plant Lounge. It's dedicated to indoor plants and accessories, so it's perfect for people who only have a windowsill to fill. Every bits of greenery here is also sourced from local nurseries, and the store has a particular focus on plants that can stand Brisbane's always-warm weather.

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OXLEY NURSERY

Oxley Nursery is more like the nurseries your parents dragged you to as a child — a huge, rambling, humid place that sells everything you could ever want. As well as a wide range of cacti, succulents, palms, and endless fiddle leaf figs, you'll also find carnivorous plants, blooming aloes, man-sized lobster claws (Heliconias), Teddy Bear magnolias, Casuarina glauca (a Cousin It-like plant), pencil pines and voodoo lilies — basically, if you can imagine it, they've probably got it in stock. The family-run business also dabbles in landscape and garden design, so when you visit you'll always find advice and garden gravel aplenty.

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ALL THE GREEN THINGS

Plants aren't the only attraction at All the Green Things, although this West End chain does stock a sizeable range of gorgeous green babies. While you're wandering around its Vulture Street and West Village spots, perusing the shelves and looking at everything from hardy favourites to rare varieties, you may also spy the shop's resident dog, Ruby. In fact, if you're as fond of four-legged friends as you are plants, you'll be able to stock up on pet-friendly greenery. Animal-shaped and -adorned planters and pots are also a highlight, which'll help you combine your love of both — or make you feel better if the leafy new addition to your home is the closest you're going to get to expanding to your household at the moment.

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CITY FARM NURSERY

Fancy something green, alive and edible? Then you'll want to make a visit to City Farm Nursery. Given that it's part of Northey Street City Farm, aka Windsor's permaculture haven, the focus on plants that produce vegetables, fruit, herbs and bush tucker shouldn't come as a surprise. Consider it a two-for-one type of scenario: pick up some greenery to brighten up your balcony, and score yourself a treasure trove of ingredients that you can use in the kitchen at the same time. From cucumber, cherry tomato and beetroot seedlings right through to fruit trees, you'll find plenty here that'll make you hungry. You will also find other plants, particularly succulents; however if you've always wanted to use your green thumb to be a little more self-sufficient, this is your spot.

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BROOKFIELD GARDENS

One of Brisbane's long-term greenery go-tos, Brookfield Gardens may sport a brand new name — it was previously known as Brookfield Garden Centre — but it's still the same beloved spot that's been around for more than a decade. It's also well worth making the trip out to the western suburbs to visit. Outside in the nursery, a host of outdoor plants await. Back inside in the greenhouse, it's time to feast your eyes on indoor plants. If that's not enough, you can also mosey around areas specifically dedicated to pots, homewares, and edible flowers and herbs. And, while you're out there, you can also grab a plant-focused breakfast or lunch from the onsite bistro, Wild Canary.

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SATURDAY FRESH MARKETS

The weekend markets at Rocklea are for serious plant buyers. We recommend you squad up with your green thumb friends, make a dedicated trip to the Saturday Fresh Markets between 6am–12pm and back that car straight up to the loading zone. The plants on sale are cheap as chips, often half the price of your average nursery (though it's not the place to hunt for weird or exotic species, as sellers will offer everything else in bulk). However, it's the perfect spot to pick up big indoor and outdoor plants, pots of colour, natives and smaller succulents and cacti. Remember to take cash (as well as coins for entry and parking, $4 per car and $1 per person) and be strategic: do a sweep of the plant sellers before settling on purchases and going back, otherwise you might be disappointed to find a better deal elsewhere.

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Top image: The Plant Lounge.

Published on September 07, 2021 by Concrete Playground

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