A local nursery owner says more time spent at home has led to the blossoming popularity of home gardening and owning indoor plants.
COVID-19 restrictions have afforded many people more time to put on those gardening gloves and test out their green thumb.
For Raymond Sinnamon gardening is a lifelong passion and the outbreak of the pandemic also saw him return to his roots, launching Ray’s Sunshine Plants after he found himself unemployed because of COVID-19.
“Gardening and indoor plants has definitely comes in and out of vogue through the years,” Ray said.
Ray owned a nursery, in a partnership, in the early 2000s, and he has managed an award-winning garden centre also, and it was changing careers at the wrong time just as Covid-19 unfolded that led him back to his passion for plants.
“I’ve never been afraid of adversity, I’ve taken the opportunity to start a business in this daunting time with the support of friends and loyal customers who appreciate my honesty and desire to help people get maximum enjoyment from their plants,” Ray said.
“Becoming unemployed pushed me in the right direction – back to a field that I love.”
Ray has been a passionate member of the gardening community since learning to plough fields on his family acreage at Meadowvale as a child.
Advice on buying your first indoor plant
He often takes advice from his friend, and multiple plant show award winner, Anne Walsh; together they suggested a few tips to help select the perfect indoor plant for any home.
For first time indoor plant owners Ray and Anne recommend starting with a hardier plant, such as peperomia, begonia rex or monstera.
“The monstera is also known as the swiss cheese plant,” Ray said.
“At first the leaf comes out complete before little slices and holes appear giving it the swiss cheese look. There are very hardy plants and do well in doors.”
Ray said another popular indoor plant that was relatively easy to keep alive was ivy, and not only were most ivy plants hardy, but he said they also came in a variety of exciting colours and were perfect for most homes.
“Some plants are hardy and need little attention and others need a lot of care,” Ray said.
“Gardening is all about learning and I've learned a lot from Anne about indoor plants.”
Anne grew up on the edge of a National Park near Sydney where she said the wild flowers were amazing, and she recalled owning plants as a young child before moving to the Bundaberg Region, when her gardening addiction flourished once again, in 2004.
“I have been collecting bromeliads and orchids for over 30 years,” Anne said.
“My favourite being tillandsia, which have amazing flowers and are so easy to care for.
“Now, I am diversifying into other areas with ferns, frangipanis, succulents, anthuriums to name just a few.”
Ray said his change of career had been a blessing in disguise allowing him to provide advice as indoor plants surged in popularity and he hoped he could help the Bundaberg Region grow more green thumbs during this time.
“One of the biggest issues with indoor plants especially is that people kill them with kindness,” he said.
“It’s a common mistake to over water them.
“Taking them out for a walk into the sunshine or light sprinkle of rain, they become like pets, and some need much more care then others and suit certain gardener’s needs.
“You’ll find you'll dote on them and a sense of fresh life gets added to your house.
“It's also as simple as to throw around a few variegated snake plants and maiden hair fern around and they require very little care.”
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