#4 PlantsInterview

Queen
  of natural
  style

Sibella Court is probably the best known interior stylist in Australia and author of five hugely popular books filled with magic interiors that breathe her buccaneer spirit. She’s always on the move, hunting for new ideas and experiences, celebrating lo-fi natural styling with beautiful appealing pieces and the plants we love so much_______.

Which plant symbolizes a sad moment in your life?

Sibella: “Sometimes sad can be happy. My mother died eight years ago and one of the first things I did was ring Sakia Greaves of Grandiflora, Sydney. My mother loved flowers so we filled the church with huge frangipani branches and a summer blaze of colourful flowers. It was as though walking into a magical ethereal garden, she would have loved it so much.”

When did you last buy someone plants?

Sibella: “I buy flowers and cut foliage every weekend and always a spare bunch for a friend. Weekends are about visiting friends and family and it is always the best to turn up with something beautiful. Last week I organised my friends wedding cake. The wedding was celebrated outside of Sydney on the Hawkesbury River, a beautiful Australian scape, and held in an old shed. I had lemon drizzle cakes made which I stacked with the soft leaves of Silver Dust, Queens Anne Lace and a beautiful white flower on a silvery stem that I do not know the name of. It looked as though it had grown itself - it was so understated in its beauty and people where not too scared to eat it!“

Plants

Pellaea
Asplenium Parvati
Asplenium australasicum (A. nidus)
Asplenium antiquum
Philodendron selloum
Opuntia
Begonia ‘Iron Cross’

Plants

Pellaea
Asplenium Parvati
Asplenium australasicum (A. nidus)
Asplenium antiquum
Philodendron selloum
Opuntia
Begonia ‘Iron Cross’

‘WITHOUT PLANTS MY HOME FEELS UNLIVED IN_______’

What’s your favourite plant store and why?

Sibella: “I lived in New York City for ten years and went to the 28th st. Flower market between 6th and 7th at least three times a week. I love this crazy oasis that spills into the street in the middle of NYC, it starts around 4:00 and wraps up the latest by 10:00 am. It has huge cut foliage, pine garlands, Dutch flowers, mountain foraged fiddlehead ferns, New Zealand tree peonies, delicate lily-of-the-valley, dinner plate dahlia - so much variety from all over the world!
In terms of florists, they do not all have shops, like Katie Marx in Melbourne and her beautiful Butterland @katiemarxflowers. She forages and finds the most amazing berries, flowers, leaves and arranges them in beautiful unstructured arrangements and still-life. A florist I am watching closely but yet to meet is @jardinebotanic.”

Your most romantic memory on plants?

Sibella: “I visited a fair about ten years ago and walked into a hanging garden of string bound plants - it was made by Paul Hyland of Glass Haus Nursery. Paul’s Bricks & Mortar nursery in Richmond, Melbourne is a piece of heaven. I borrowed many of the magical plants in Gypsy from his store including the string bound silver birch
He has opened a beautiful event space around the corner in a historic warehouse that is lined with plants, a beautiful green world.”

Which plant symbolizes a sad moment in your life?

Sibella: “Sometimes sad can be happy. My mother died eight years ago and one of the first things I did was ring Sakia Greaves of Grandiflora, Sydney. My mother loved flowers so we filled the church with huge frangipani branches and a summer blaze of colourful flowers. It was as though walking into a magical ethereal garden, she would have loved it so much.”

When did you last buy someone plants?

Sibella: “I buy flowers and cut foliage every weekend and always a spare bunch for a friend. Weekends are about visiting friends and family and it is always the best to turn up with something beautiful. Last week I organised my friends wedding cake. The wedding was celebrated outside of Sydney on the Hawkesbury River, a beautiful Australian scape, and held in an old shed. I had lemon drizzle cakes made which I stacked with the soft leaves of Silver Dust, Queens Anne Lace and a beautiful white flower on a silvery stem that I do not know the name of. It looked as though it had grown itself - it was so understated in its beauty and people where not too scared to eat it!“

What’s your favourite plant store and why?

Sibella: “I lived in New York City for ten years and went to the 28th st. Flower market between 6th and 7th at least three times a week. I love this crazy oasis that spills into the street in the middle of NYC, it starts around 4:00 and wraps up the latest by 10:00 am. It has huge cut foliage, pine garlands, Dutch flowers, mountain foraged fiddlehead ferns, New Zealand tree peonies, delicate lily-of-the-valley, dinner plate dahlia - so much variety from all over the world!
In terms of florists, they do not all have shops, like Katie Marx in Melbourne and her beautiful Butterland @katiemarxflowers. She forages and finds the most amazing berries, flowers, leaves and arranges them in beautiful unstructured arrangements and still-life. A florist I am watching closely but yet to meet is @jardinebotanic.”

Your most romantic memory on plants?

Sibella: “I visited a fair about ten years ago and walked into a hanging garden of string bound plants - it was made by Paul Hyland of Glass Haus Nursery. Paul’s Bricks & Mortar nursery in Richmond, Melbourne is a piece of heaven. I borrowed many of the magical plants in Gypsy from his store including the string bound silver birch
He has opened a beautiful event space around the corner in a historic warehouse that is lined with plants, a beautiful green world.”

Sibella’s still life styling tips

Plants and flowers are a stylist’s dream as the combinations are endless and almost impossible to mismatch. My style philosophy could be called ‘lost and found’. Leafs and stems are the perfect things to spot with a vengeance. Combine them with plants, tactile floral textiles, feathers, curiosities, sketches of flora and fauna, books & publications to add another layer of decoration. Obviously displayed for all to see. Et voila! A green mini installation.

Which plant reminds you of your mother?

Sibella: “Every Saturday my mother would go to the market to buy her vegetables & flowers. The flower growers name was George, and she bought flowers from him for over twenty years. She had a large locust in the garden that my father would cut branches from for her to create the structure of her arrangements in large heavy bottomed glass battery jars and then she would layer it with the flowers she bought from George. She loved every season and celebrated all the flowers and foliage of the year.”

The smell of fresh plants makes me feel...

Sibella: “Elated and clear headed.”

When you see...

Sibella: “A blossoming Grandiflora Magnolia I want to be filled with their citrusy scent.”

Most inspiring piece of plant art or installation that you’ve ever seen?

Sibella: “The Cloud Forest in Singapore. An enormous man-made structure dripping in green. An oasis in a hot modern built up city.”

What IG’ers inspire you in a plant-ish way?

@katiemarxflowers
@jardinebotanic
@looseleaf_

Without plants my home feels...

Sibella: “Unlived in.”

Most stunning thing you’ve seen with ‘decayed’ plants?

Sibella: “André Gentl’s photography.”

A great DIY with plants is...

Sibella: “Decorating your table for a dinner party, its says celebrations and makes your guests feel special and loved.”

I’m in love with plants since...

Sibella: “I can remember my grandmother and I walking and her pointing out all the names. I must have been about three years old.”

When you think of a bush of plants, what plants do you imagine?

Sibella: “The Australian landscape has a lovely low level bush scape. My grandparents lived about three hours north of Sydney and they were surrounded by beautiful majestic gums that smell like eculapyt as the day heats up. There were tangles of wildflowers and wattle and teatree as well as wild orchid growing in the small salty pines that lined the lake.”

What’s the most memorable botanical fashion show?

Sibella: “Raf Simon’s for Dior 2012 Couture Show.”

Most stunning thing you’ve seen with ‘decayed’ plants?

Sibella: “André Gentl’s photography.”

A great DIY with plants is...

Sibella: “Decorating your table for a dinner party, its says celebrations and makes your guests feel special and loved.”

I’m in love with plants since...

Sibella: “I can remember my grandmother and I walking and her pointing out all the names. I must have been about three years old.”

When you think of a bush of plants, what plants do you imagine?

Sibella: “The Australian landscape has a lovely low level bush scape. My grandparents lived about three hours north of Sydney and they were surrounded by beautiful majestic gums that smell like eculapyt as the day heats up. There were tangles of wildflowers and wattle and teatree as well as wild orchid growing in the small salty pines that lined the lake.”

What’s the most memorable botanical fashion show?

Sibella: “Raf Simon’s for Dior 2012 Couture Show.”

Your favorite bedroom plant?

Sibella: “Garden roses.”

What kind of plants make your children happy?

Sibella: “My daughter Silver is two years old and all flowers and plants make her happy! She picks up every flower smells it and says ‘yum!’.”

Which plant symbolizes a highlight in your life?

Sibella: “When Silver was born we planted a frangipani branch in a beautiful pot that greets you at the entrance of our beach shack at Watego’s Beach.”

What’s your favorite pot to install your plants?

Sibella: “I buy a lot of old vessels at auctions and find them at markets, they are most often not traditional pots for plants. I like to layer my planting in the hospitality spaces I design and use a lot of different textured pots.”

Public space that knows best how to work with plants?

Sibella: “The Highline in NYC.”

Do you grow your own plants?

Sibella: “We live by the sea in Sydney, almost like living in a lighthouse, the salt air makes it difficult to grow plants but we have found some sheltered spots & created a wind break for our olive, single petal rose, frangipani, native grasses, and hydrangea to grow. Geraniums will grow under any conditions and thrive with the salt air.”

On what unexpected place do you like to put your plants?

Sibella: “I have plants and flowers everywhere. I like to have a big display at the bottom of my stairs that greet me as I walk into the door, I have something scented in our bathrooms, on the window sill in my kitchen so I can look at them whilst I cook and always a small arrangement of seasonal flowers and foliage by my daughters bed so she learns the names, scent and language of them_______.”

Your favorite bedroom plant?

Sibella: “Garden roses.”

What kind of plants make your children happy?

Sibella: “My daughter Silver is two years old and all flowers and plants make her happy! She picks up every flower smells it and says ‘yum!’.”

Which plant symbolizes a highlight in your life?

Sibella: “When Silver was born we planted a frangipani branch in a beautiful pot that greets you at the entrance of our beach shack at Watego’s Beach.”

What’s your favorite pot to install your plants?

Sibella: “I buy a lot of old vessels at auctions and find them at markets, they are most often not traditional pots for plants. I like to layer my planting in the hospitality spaces I design and use a lot of different textured pots.”

Public space that knows best how to work with plants?

Sibella: “The Highline in NYC.”

Do you grow your own plants?

Sibella: “We live by the sea in Sydney, almost like living in a lighthouse, the salt air makes it difficult to grow plants but we have found some sheltered spots & created a wind break for our olive, single petal rose, frangipani, native grasses, and hydrangea to grow. Geraniums will grow under any conditions and thrive with the salt air.”

On what unexpected place do you like to put your plants?

Sibella: “I have plants and flowers everywhere. I like to have a big display at the bottom of my stairs that greet me as I walk into the door, I have something scented in our bathrooms, on the window sill in my kitchen so I can look at them whilst I cook and always a small arrangement of seasonal flowers and foliage by my daughters bed so she learns the names, scent and language of them_______.”

A selection from Sibella Courts’s timeline, @sibellacourt