#2 PlantsInterview

 For the
  love of
living
  green

 For the
  love of
living
  green

Tucked away in the seaside suburb of Miami, Gold Coast, there are two enthusiastic women with a huge passion for plants. They run a lovely little plant styling service called The Borrowed Nursery. At ‘the two Laurens’- as Lauren Lance and Lauren Modi like to call themselves - customers can hire all sorts of plants to spice up events or spaces. The atmosphere is homely, cluttered with antique fleamarket finds and little treasures from outside. It’s their daily challenge pairing a plant and vessel together to create something stunning worth pleasing the eye_______.

The Borrowed Nursery

Plant Styling Service. Based in The Potting Shed, Miami. 5,5k Followers on Instagram. They develop plant-installations to create dreamy spaces. Their unique collection features in product shoots and advertising campaigns for local brands. Founders are ‘the two Laurens’: Lauren Modi and Lauren Lance. Both obsessed with weeping willows and quirky hanging plants.

Dangling memories

Lauren Modi: “My earliest memory of plants is playing in gardens as a child in my family home and in the homes of family friends. I spent so much time imagining the garden as my own little world. As a child we used to holiday on the Murray River and I remember being obsessed with the weeping willows that adorn the banks of the Murray. Their hollow shapes would create little spaces inside to explore amongst the dangling foliage. They were also the best trees for climbing.”
Lauren Lance: “Both Mum and Dad take a lot of pride in their own garden. Most weekends were spent with all of the family working together, Dad and my brother doing the lawns, Mum and I pottering around in the garden beds, weeding and tidying up. Dad in particular is very happy with the hedge in the front yard seeing it grow from scratch into the perfectly presented hedge that is today. So my earliest memory of plants is of quality time shared with my family as a child.”

No green fingers

Lauren Modi: “My mother has never been a green thumb but when I bought her a little Fiddle Leaf Fig for Christmas two years ago and I explained that they were the next big thing she took special care of it. It’s now touching the roof and she is very very proud of it. When I see or talk about the fiddle leaf fig my mum and her beautiful plant always pops into my mind.”
Lauren Lance: “The front yard is filled with beautiful birds of paradise and mom picks the foliage to present in vases inside the house. When I see arrangements using the bright tropical foliage of birds of paradise I am reminded of my mom and her beautiful front garden.”

Growing gifts

Both: “The last time we bought someone a plant must be when Lauren and I were invited to a mutual friends engagement party. Our friend had been to visit our potting shed many times eyeing off a timber planter that was hand made by Lauren with the help of her dad. Although this was a prototype for a product we are currently developing, we knew it was the perfect special piece that came from the heart for a special couple. We filled it with succulents and now get regular updates on the growth of this beloved table piece.”

‘The smell of fresh plants makes me feel awake and energized. Being surrounded by luscious greenery on a daily basis is truly a privilege_________’

Weirdo leaves

Lauren Modi: “Our favourite plantstore is ours of course! We also love Green Fingers, which is located in Japan and New York. I visited Japan earlier this year and was lucky enough to visit one of their boutique stores and enjoy a hot chocolate whilst exploring their very unique well-curated selection of plants. I was fascinated by the size of the plants. Everything was so small and a little bit weird. This is relevant to the size of the minimum garden space they have in Tokyo. In Australia people want big plants to fill up their homes and huge gardens.”

Bathing in Foliage

Lauren Lance: “I love the idea of filling a bathroom with plants although it maybe not be all that unexpected. My bathroom design has a rainforest retreat style with cladded timber walls and exposed timber beams. Moisture loving plants that thrive in humidity are perfect for the space.”
Lauren Modi: “I love to put plants on shelves. There is nothing more beautiful than a well-curated shelf with the perfect combinations of books, ornaments and a couple of quirky hanging plants draping down. The best ones to use are Devil's Ivy, Chain of Hearts or a hanging Philodendron due to the usual low light conditions where one would find bookshelves and kitchen shelves.”

Smells like happiness

Lauren Modi: “The smell of fresh plants makes me feel awake and energized. There is something energizing about working with plants. Having previously worked in front of computers in Hospitality Interior Design I find that there is a big difference in my mood after a day potting in the Shed. Being surrounded by luscious greenery on a daily basis is truly a privilege. When I see a huge cactus growing tall and proud in someone's garden I want to come back in the middle of the night and steal it. But don’t worry I never actually would...”

Nice to plant you

Lauren Modi: “The best trick is to get to know your plants. Often you can’t simply follow care instructions on the tag or found online because every plant is different, every location is different meaning variations in humidity, temperature and airflow can affect how much water and light a plant will need. In Queensland we have long hot summers and therefore we need to spend a lot more time watering.”

Instaplants

Both Laurens “IG’ers that inspire us in a plant-ish way are: The Plant Hunter (@theplanthunter) true to their own description on instagram, this online magazine really does delve into the connection between people and plants (click here to read our interview with the Planthunter in this issue of The Green Gallery), The Garden Edit (@thegardenedit) is another great online journal that connects people and plants, and Zetastradgard (@Zetastradgard) is a beautifully curated nursery and café in Sweden.”

Home is where the plant is

Lauren Modi: “Without plants my home feels... lonely. My plants are my babies.”

Rocks, mosses & plants

Lauren Modi: “A great DIY with plants is building a Terrarium. There is nothing more fulfilling than building your own little world in a glass jar. You get a God like feeling and feel that it’s your responsibility to keep that little eco system thriving. They can be such a personal creation using a selection of rocks, mosses, plants and even little people and figures. We have just started doing terrarium building workshops at the shed and have enjoyed learning about the various elements to a terrarium and how they all work together to create the perfect thriving environment.”

How sereen and comforting it is, this green world beneath glass...

Plantlove

Lauren Modi: “When I first moved out of home I couldn’t afford to buy flowers so I used to go out to our little garden and cut clumps of Lillypilly foliage. I used its this branches with purple berries to decorate my house, putting them in old jars. The greenery made our little house feel like a real home and from then on I always wanted my home to be green and full of life. My obsession with indoor plants grew, obviously.”

It's a wrap

Lauren Modi: “An inspiring way to wrap your plants is choosing the most simple pretty style. It’s amazing what a bit of brown paper and twine can do. If you’re gifting a plant this is an easy way to enhance its beauty. The fresh green foliage against the rough paper and understated twine go hand in hand.”

Edible treeleaves

Lauren Modi: “My favourite edible plant and dish is actually one of my mother-in-law's. My husband’s family is Indian and his mother is an amazing cook. I especially love her vegetarian curries. She uses Bergera Koenigii also known as a Curry Leaf Tree in many of her vegetarian dishes. One day she took me to the beautiful tree that she takes her leaves from. It was located in an abandoned garden in Mudgeeraba, a town only 10 minutes away with the cutest country heritage vibe. This was followed by an amazing cooking lesson handing down recipes that have been in her family for generations. This is one of them...”

‘The greenery made our little house feel like a home and from then on I always wanted my home to be green and full of life_______.’

A feast of colours and textures, mixing soft echeverias with spiky euphorbias.

Public plantmagic

Lauren Modi: “In 2012 before the Borrowed Nursery existed, Lauren Lance crashed my honeymoon in New York. My husband and I were lucky enough to spend 3 months exploring the amazing city. Lauren joined us for two weeks towards the end of our stay and together we visited the high line. An amazing converted disused railway that had been turned into a public garden. Everything from the concept itself to the design of the landscape and plant selection was awesome and inspiring. We are also inspired by The Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney. This café is an urban mini farm with some amazing green spaces as well as beautiful interior design. They continue to use plants and flowers in detailed breathtaking installations for events and special occasions. It’s definitely worth a visit if you ever visit Sydney.”

Inspiring Sibella

Lauren Modi: “I would love to see what stylist Sibella Court (in one of our next issues) would do with plants in a space. Her style is all about collecting. We treasure and collect plants that are unique in shape and size. I would love to see how she would display a unique collection of plants in a home or in an installation.”

50 shades of green

Lauren Modi: “Most definitely, a table is the perfect spot for a planter full of your favorite succulents. You can be creative and experiment with colours and textures mixing soft echeverias with the spiky euphorbias. Succulents are usually quite low so they wont become an inconvenience when socialising outdoors, something we love to do all year round here in Queensland.”

Bucket list? Greenhouse!

Lauren Modi: “We do not (yet) grow our own plants, but we would love to. We hope to open The Borrowed Nursery café and event space in the near future. This will be a beautifully designed garden with a greenhouse where we can grow our own plants as well as have people enjoying the space in various different ways, including weddings and occasions. It will also be a serene place to enjoy a coffee and stroll though the gardens and maybe pick out a plant or two to take home________.”

A selection from @The Borrowed Nursery’s timeline