Two horticulturalists with a shared passion for plants, music and travel, Duncan and Dom first met while working together at Dom’s (outdoor) Garden Maintenance and Design Business. And in no time, struck up a solid friendship. After Duncan returned from a trip to New York, he couldn’t wait to tell Dom about an awesome Indoor Plant Truck he saw on his travels. Inspired, they both decided within ten minutes that they would do their own thing and lo-and-behold, within a week they purchased Fern – the Plant Runner Flagship. Back then she was an old horse float – it took six months before they launched their mobile greenhouse and since then have expanded to selling indoor plants at markets, to creating quality indoor plant products.
We chatted to Duncan and Dom about staying inspired during this challenging time, top tips for plant care and maintenance, what they say to their plants when no-one’s watching and more.
How do you stay inspired during this challenging time?
We know social media isn’t always the healthiest place to spend your time, but we’re definitely inspired by the way so many small businesses are coming up with new and exciting ways to keep trading online. There is a lot of positivity out there. We don’t believe in ignoring the news no matter how bad things are getting, but we do think you can limit how much you read or take in.
What’s the most underrated indoor plant in your opinion?
Syngoniums AKA the Arrowhead Plant. We don’t know why these guys
don’t get more love! Beautiful arrow-shaped foliage, a range of colours and variegations, fast growers and low maintenance… what more do you need?
What are your top three tips for caring for your indoor plants?
- Know your plant – always ask about the plant you’re purchasing (what light it likes, how much water it requires, any tips you should know about).
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – don’t be put off by a plant death, it happens to everyone. The best thing to do is learn from it!
- Don’t forget to feed it – we created our indoor plant food because we realised a lot of people didn’t know they needed to fertilise their indoor plants. Water alone is not enough to keep your plant happy and healthy, they need nutrients just like the rest of us!
Apparently, when you talk to your plants, they grow faster. What do you say to your plants when no-one’s watching?
I’m not much of a talker but I do get excited when I see new growth. Lots of “oohs!” and yelling to my partner to come see the new leaf (sadly she doesn’t share my enthusiasm for new foliage) – Duncan
What should every plant lover have in their care kit?
Neem, Plant Food, a good watering can and a nice pair of snips. You can get away without all this stuff but I think it makes plant care so much more enjoyable when you have the right tools. Your tools should be functional and aesthetically pleasing. You want to be able to keep them on your shelf inside the home not hidden in the shed out back. – Duncan
For the plant killer, what’s one plant you would recommend?
Podcast or playlist – what are you listening to right now?
We Still Believe radio on RINSE FM hosted by The Black Madonna. It’s a house, disco and techno podcast and pretty much keeps us sane while all the great Melbourne venues are closed.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
The best advice is probably from Dom! “Just give it a go” – … I’ve always been one to hold back and Dom has really managed to show me that we’re far better off trying and failing than just not trying at all. I like this because it applies to plants (experimentation can lead to so much learning!) and to our business in general. – Duncan