This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

An Industrial Wasteland Turned Plant Paradise

Gardens

The humid subtropical clime of Brisbane makes for some lush gardens and covetable flora.

One such oasis is the plant shop of Andrea Fitzpatrick, a keen green thumb who studied horticulture and then landscape design after her kids finished highschool.

Georgina Reid stopped by Botanick Brisbane for a tour.

13th September, 2018

Fox Street Gardens is home to Andrea’s plant shop, Botanick Brisbane, and picture framing business Plane Wood Frame. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

At Andrea’s shop, plants are allowed to express their wayward selves. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Andrea Fitzpatrick. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Andrea collects both old wares and plants. The perfect combo! Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Andrea likes objects that tell a story and spaces that evolve over time. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

A tumble of colourful succulents at Andrea Fitzpatrick’s Botanick Brisbane plant shop. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Layer upon layer of plants and curiosities at Botanick Brisbane. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Plants jostle with found objects like this rusted metal wheel. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Botanick Brisbane is definitely NOT a minimalist space. Photo – Daniel Shipp.

Happy plants! Photo – Daniel Shipp.

‘I like things that evolve slowly. It’s nice to gather ideas over time and see how things grow’, Andrea Fitzpatrick tells me as we shelter in Vielle Branche, a big old warehouse, restaurant and photography studio, drinking coffee and waiting for the pelting rain to let up. She’s referring to her Brisbane plant shop, Botanick Brisbane, just next door. It’s a gorgeous, rambling spot – the kind of place that is the product of time, care and attention. If I were to have a retail space, it’d look a lot like Andrea’s – full of odd, beautiful bits and pieces and plenty of weird plants.

Andrea started the business around four years ago. Her children had finished high school and she decided to return to one of her first loves, plants. She began studying horticulture and then landscape design. Through a series of serendipitous encounters, Andrea got to know Jennifer and JC from Vieille Branche and soon enough, Andrea had moved into the vacant block next door to their gorgeous old warehouse – transforming an industrial wasteland into a lush and curious planty paradise. ‘I distinctly remember saying, ‘I don’t want a nursery. It’s not going to be a nursery.’ And it’s not a nursery, it’s a plant shop’, she tells me. The difference is, according to Andrea, nurseries have “lots and lots of the same thing. They’re neatly organised. This isn’t. I have a lot of old stuff, and the shop combines my love of plants and my love old things.”‘

The space is packed full of found objects, old concrete gardenalia, handmade pots, a big old bus (where Andrea’s friend Sue has a picture framing business), and plenty of plants. They’re not run-of-the-mill mainstream nursery type plants, but interesting things from small growers – ‘I like to support people who are passionate’, Andrea’s own backyard and her brother Brad’s garden (he’s mad keen on succulents and cactus – the side passageway of his property is a mini nursery dedicated to supplying plants for Angela’s shop).

‘I like having different things that you can’t just get at a mainstream nursery. To compete with giant plant nurseries, you need to do something different, something interesting.’ For Andrea, this means creating a space that feels less like a plant supermarket, and more like a personal, changeable, evolving space. Botanick Brisbane is more a garden than a nursery. Plants are given space to be their wayward selves, objects are collected, placed, moved and sold. ‘If you have a rigid idea of how things are, there’s not as much freedom to incorporate interesting or quirky things you might find. These things could evoke memories – like an old teapot of your grandmother’s – or set you off in a new direction.’ As the garden evolves, it’s not just the plants that grow, the stories do too.

The rain doesn’t stop, so we grab some umbrellas and head back into Andrea’s plant wonderland. There are yuccas growing wonkily out of old terracotta urns, pachypodiums in peeling vintage concrete planters, an old singer sowing machine nestled amongst the vibrant green foliage of a monstera plant and brightly coloured succulents growing everywhere! It’s wild, textural and inviting. I express interest in a strange plant I’d never seen before (Kalanchoe Kewensis, I think). Before I can stop her, Andrea has pulled it out of its pot and thrust it at me. It comes home from Brisbane to Sydney. It’s about to flower and each time I look at it I think about Andrea and her gorgeous little plant shop. Plant stories are the best stories, and Andrea’s shop is full of them.

Botanick Brisbane
10 Fox Street
Albion, Brisbane
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 9am-2pm

View Comments

Similar Stories

Gardens

A Slow And Thoughtful Garden, Designed With Functionality In Mind

Landscape architect Hugh Burnett and Ballast Landscape builders work closely with the long-time owners of this Sydney property to create a s...

Gardens

A Super Swish Suburban Front Garden

Bethany Williamson Landscape Architecture subverts the traditional expectations of a suburban garden project... by transforming the front ya...
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Sensitive Update For This Grand, 100-Year-Old Garden in Sydney

Numerous landscape designers have tended to this Mosman property over the past century.

This Week

Sustainable Homes

A Former Corner Store Turned Sustainable Family Home

A dilapidated, Federation-era shopfront is transformed into a truly unique, energy efficient home by CplusC Architectural Workshop.

Stays

This New Byron Bay Hinterland Accomodation Is Equal Parts Luxury + Rustic

Book your stay at The Perch – a beautifully renovated 1970s property in Bangalow, NSW.

News

'Giant' by Evi O Opens At Saint Cloche

Artist Evi O showcases her largest paintings to date in new exhibition Giant, on now at Saint Cloche.

Architecture

This Lower North Shore Family House Feels Like A Permanent Vacation!

Two grand palm trees on entry provide a strong identity for the Whisper House, designed by Manolev Architects.

Interiors

A Social Sydney Home Elevated By Garden Views + On Point Decoration!

Following an architectural renovation by Welsh + Major, celebrated design studio Arent&Pyke elevate this Sydney home with a stunning array o...

News

An Abstract Art Biennale Celebrating Female Artists From Victoria

See ‘Of Colour and Light’ – an exhibition of 50 emerging and established female artists – on now at West End Art Space.

News

A Group Show Combining Ceramics + Still-Life Under One Roof!

Ceramicist Grace Brown joins artistic forces with figurative artist Margaret Voterakis for a new exhibition at Modern Times, ‘Utopian Purs...
Sasha Aarons

Homes

Emily Green's Joyous Family Home, Filled With Local Makers’ Work

The fun and colour-filled Reservoir family home of designer and Pinky's store co-owner, Emily Green, and teacher Louis Turner.

News

Patricia Piccinini And Alpha60 Join Forces On A New Collaboration

The celebrated Australian artist and local fashion legends launch a new series of textiles titled ‘Hugs’, which are now installe...
Sponsored

News

A New Book About The Wonderful, Colourful World Of Ken Done Is Here

The legendary Australian artist is celebrated with a new book by Thames & Hudson, ‘Ken Done: Art, Design, Life’.

Creative People

Behind The Scenes Of 'Rone In Geelong’ – Opening This Weekend!

See a retrospective of artist Rone's work to date at Geelong Gallery from Saturday February 27 to Sunday May 16, 2021.

On The Market

An Interior Designer’s Glamorous Victorian Pad Hits The Market!

Chelsea Hing’s apartment in an 1890s Italianate mansion in St Kilda East is up for sale. This is *the one*!
Sasha Gattermayr
  23 hours ago

Art

11 Affordable, Emerging Painters You Should Know!

From landscapes and surrealism to portraits and abstract art, these local artists are going BIG places.

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

Studio Visit

The Award-Winning Student Ceramicist Suspending Time In Clay

Bell Carver is the recipient of the inaugural Shelley Simpson Ceramics Prize (and $10,000 in prize money!) - a new award for emerging cerami...

Similar Stories

Gardens

A Slow And Thoughtful Garden, Designed With Functionality In Mind

Landscape architect Hugh Burnett and Ballast Landscape builders work closely with the long-time owners of this Sydney property to create a s...

Gardens

A Super Swish Suburban Front Garden

Bethany Williamson Landscape Architecture subverts the traditional expectations of a suburban garden project... by transforming the front ya...
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Sensitive Update For This Grand, 100-Year-Old Garden in Sydney

Numerous landscape designers have tended to this Mosman property over the past century.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.