The Plant Society is the brainchild of Jason Chongue and Nathan Smith, born from a passion for design and plants but also to create a plant community. With a goal 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. By celebrating plants and all things green, they 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. With an immense appreciation and respect for the knowledge cultivated by growers, collectors, and propagators, they regularly forage the country to build relationships with these important people.
Alongside plant foraging, they are actively involved in a range of events and projects to promote positive and open conversations around greenery. Collaborating closely on designing greener spaces, both internal and external, with architects, interior designers, council, and developers.
For The Plant Society, the journey has just begun!
When did the obsession with plants & gardening begin?
I started gardening with my parents and grandparents at a very young age. I was infatuated with nature and greenery, from plants to pets I was obsessed! I would spend my days in the garden, growing and experimenting with anything I could get my hands on.
Over the years I’ve explored a range of plant types and species, but the collection has grown and evolved. Some plants I have with me now are from my childhood, whilst others are additions and others have been passed on to me. My obsession with plants comes from my passion for greenery and how plants can make the world of difference in our living spaces.
What made you start The Plant Society? When did it go from an interest to a career & small business?
We started The Plant Society with a goal to nurture a greener city for future generations, whilst also teaching the basics of indoor gardening to our community. We’re also passionate about motivating owners of commercial and private spaces to embrace and plan for long-term indoor oasis’. 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.
What is your favourite plant and why?
Oh, this changes all the time! It often depends on the season but right now, indoors, I’m loving Wax Plants (Hoya). They are extremely adaptable to a range of lighting conditions and can be styled to grow upright or drape over surfaces. I’m forever using them in small spaces on shelves or suspended from the ceiling.
Outdoors I’m loving an organic mix of greys, greens, and flowering plants. It’s difficult to walk past Wisteria in bloom right now!
What’s the biggest mistake people make with houseplants?
The biggest mistake people make is choosing a plant for its appearance rather than the requirements it needs to thrive in your space. Always choose a plant according to the natural light it requires to ensure your plant care is off to a good start.
What are the positive effects of having plants around the home?
Plants mean the world to me, and it’s so nice seeing it have the same effect on new gardeners. Whether you are gardening indoors or out, plants not only purify the air but I’m a firm believer in the positive mental health benefits both plants and the act of gardening have on our well-being. My philosophy has always been to contribute back to the environment and be as conscious, as possible, to how we can make a small change for the future.
What does the future hold for The Plant Society?
Since launching The Plant Society, we’ve been fortunate to experience so many great things. From opening new stores to book deals and traveling across Australia and the globe to pass on our love of greenery, it’s been a rollercoaster ride. We’re excited to continue this journey and develop new ranges of planters as well as one day opening an international outpost.