Designed and curated by Jason Chongue, The Plant Society embodies a new perspective and experience on the traditional plant nursery. Having spent the last year traveling from café to café, The Plant Society recently launches their permanent location, inserted into an existing café, Mina-no-ie, in Collingwood, Victoria. The move brings together two very different audiences that co-exist perfectly within an urban surrounding – one that, with its increase in density and smaller apartments, cries out for greenery.

The approach to the store has been inspired by a new interpretation of the past, by curating a mixture of found objects from old terracotta pipes to painted art plinths. It is an exploration of how the common houseplant can be merchandised. The series of surfaces aims to heighten the retail experience, allowing the ever-changing collection of plants and commissioned pots to evolve.

The Plant Society has be born from a passion for design and plants, but also to create a plant community – a ‘plant social network’. “Our goal is to nurture 
and preserve rare and interesting plant species for future generations, and share the knowledge and skills required to grow them with our community,” shares Chongue. “By celebrating plants and all things green, we hope to establish a knowledge bank of skills and techniques that can be enjoyed by all plant enthusiasts, whatever their skill level.”

The Plant Society believes it is vital to build relationships not only with the plants, but with the people who grow and nurture them. “We have immense appreciation and respect for the knowledge cultivated by growers, collectors and propagators, and we regularly forage the country to build relationships with these important people.”

Alongside plant foraging, the business is actively involved on a range of events and projects to promote positive and open conversations around greenery. They collaborate closely with architects, interior designers, council and developers in designing greener spaces, both internal and external.

But the journey has just begun. “As we travel around and meet experienced growers, we are faced with one challenge: time. The older generation holds so much plant knowledge that is crying out to be unearthed and kept alive for the future,” concludes Chongue.

 

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[Images courtesy of Jason Chongue. Photography © Armelle Habib.]

 

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