The rented Richmond home of Jenna Holmes aka Plant Mama is a testament to just how strongly connected you can feel to a home, even when it’s only temporary. This rambling Victorian house has been Jenna’s home for under a year, and she’ll soon be moving on again, as the home is sadly earmarked for demolition. Such is the nature of share house living in Melbourne!
The house itself has many stories to tell. In the 1950’s, it was owned by Croation/Australian photographer Mark Strizic. Strizic’s father, Zdenko Strizic, who was a professor of Architecture at Melbourne University, renovated the back of the house, adding a charming greenhouse which is now Jenna’s plant studio.
Later, Australian author Barry Oakley lived here. Then, in 1978, Architect Gregory Burgess purchased the home, and made further design updates, adding the recycled Jarrah kitchen, and an upstairs loft bedroom. The house was Burgess’ family home for 40 years, before changing hands again three years ago. And just last year, Jenna moved in.
‘I wasn’t looking for a house, nor did I need to move from where I was,’ the intuitive creative says. ‘I was late night scrolling real estate listings, saw the house and knew I had to live there’.
Despite having been here for less than a year, it hasn’t taken long for Jenna to fall deeply in love with her intensely creative, many-layered home. ‘It has warmth in its presence, it’s a nice space to be in,’ she says. ‘I also love the history in the house and the ideas that have been born in it… The neighbour told me when I moved in that Greg Burgess created some of Australia’s most beautiful buildings whilst working here, and that there is creative juice flowing through the walls. I feel as though also as a creative I have also made my best work whilst living in this house.’