In an ever growing city where concrete building arise and lush green parks slowly diminish, it is only fair to question what we can do to sustain a balance of growth and the natural environment.
That is where PLANT by Packwood comes in. Bayden Packwood Hine and Charlotte Nicdao created this flourishing terrarium based business out of their modest apartment in Brunswick; Melbourne, whose ideas of creating artisan landscapes as a humble sanctuary for those slugging the city life.
Their beautiful creations are thoughtfully constructed to give homage to the natural environment whist integrating creativity in their design.
What does a day in a life of Plant by Packwood involve?
A day at Packwood HQ usually involves Charlotte making lots of phone calls to our many nurseries and answering lots of e-mails as Bayden creates terrariums in his workspace – calling Charlotte out every now and then to ask her opinion. She’s not nearly as good a designer as he is though, so usually she’ll just stand out there while he talks to himself and makes the decisions! There are also usually a LOT of cups of tea!
You tend to use a lot of raw materials in your planters and terrariums, how important is sustainability and design to Plant by Packwood?
We both take sustainability very seriously, and while we love our tiny landscapes we want to know that they won’t be the only way to experience the beauty of the natural world in years to come. We’ve got a 100% recycle policy at Plant, and also don’t use bags or boxes which we think to be a bit of an unnecessary use of resources. We love working with natural materials and find that they tend to steer the design in the right direction! Bayden uses the way the plants are naturally growing as inspiration for how to design each unique terrarium.
Tell us, what or who inspires you?
We take trips out as often as we can to hike through forests and trails, every conserved part of our world has an incredibly history, and Bayden has a keen interest in the evolution of the natural world. We get so much inspiration just from being out in beautiful places and try to transfer as much of that wonder into our creations as possible!
Do you have certain customers in mind when you’re designing?
We started Plant partly because we loved terrariums so much but couldn’t find anything in Melbourne that was quite what we were looking for (or in our price range!). So when we began our aesthetic I guess the customers we had in mind were… Us! It means that we take great pride in every design decision we make, we ask ourselves – would we want this in our home? Even more – if we scrolled past this on Instagram would we dream about it? If the answer is yes then we go ahead with producing them for our client-base.
You recently had a stall at the Finders Keepers, how was the experience?
We’ve done Finders Keepers twice now and we must say, it’s pretty unbelievably hectic! In the best way possible of course! We really prioritise conversations with our customers, and love helping people pick out the perfect terrarium for their home – we know how different each one ends up, and we want to match it with the perfect space. When there’s as many people as there are at the Finders Keepers markets things get a little crazy! We feel like we run on adrenaline a little bit over that weekend and then have to collapse in a heap at the end of it – before getting started on the may custom orders we take through the market.
Now tell us, what’s your secret to keeping indoor plants alive for the “not-so-green thumbs” out there.
Terrariums are perfect for the not-so-green-thumbs. Charlotte is one of them! Her advice is: trust Bayden’s skill as a terrarium maker! Don’t water them, don’t touch them – make sure they are getting a good amount of sunlight (50% – 80% natural light is perfect), and trim them back when they get unruly. Also, a little bit of love goes a long way! Just enjoy your tiny landscape and it’ll blossom just for you 🙂
What’s on the horizon for Plant by Packwood?
We’re in the process of expanding as we’ve grown so much over the past year and a half, we’d love to get another space and move the operation out of our little apartment! Bayden is also in the process of planning a terrarium book, which is a bit secret at the moment, but will be a pretty special little publication!