The Borrowed Nursery: bringing spaces to life

Adding plants to a home or office, or an event adds something more than just visual appeal. Greenery helps create a calming effect, plants help purify the air and assuming you take good care of them, they look beautiful too.

The Borrowed Nursery capitalises on the importance of plants as well as the Gen Y’s resurgence of interest in indoor gardening and growing succulents.

As well as stocking a bespoke collection of potted plants in their retail space at Mermaid Beach, The Borrowed Nursery also provides plants for events and considered spaces.

Founder Lauren Lance says after she studied interior design she struggled to figure out what to do next.

“I always had an interest in design and started a business sourcing vintage and antique props and furniture that I sold at markets and hired out for weddings and events,” she said.

“During that time I also worked in the the aviation industry for eight years.

“It definitely hasn’t been the “normal” progression to now owning a plant shop I guess but each job I’ve had and my studies have all helped in different ways.”

Lauren said the inspiration for The Borrowed Nursery came about when she was helping set up a wedding for friends with a Mexican / fiesta-styled street party theme.

“For table decorations, we decide to place succulents and cacti in mixed and matched vessels like old pots and vintage tins. From there, I saw an opportunity to offer a boutique option for plant hire.”

The Borrowed Nursery’s warehouse is more than just a plant store. It’s part nursery, part plant-hire, part theming, part events space. Lauren started off two years ago in a space in Miami and searched hard for a larger space before settling on the Mermaid facility.

“Getting a larger tenancy has allowed me to add the venue hire element to the business in addition to plant hire and retail,” she explained.

And the idea seems to be a successful one. The space has been used for a range of events from yoga, corporate workshops, wedding ceremonies and photoshoots.

“As far as retail goes, more space has allowed us to increase our inventory. The hire element of the business continues to grow (pun intended) providing plants for hire for a range of functions and events like weddings, exhibitions and property staging.”

“We also offer a design service for commercial spaces like retail stores and cafes and restaurants. It’s a juggling act at times.”

Lauren said the response to the new space has been better than she hoped with the front of the building getting a lot of interest in particular.

“It’s great to see people posts on Instagram. It’s amazing what a can of peach paint can do (Coral Blossom by Dulux to be specific).”

And what does Lauren think is driving this renaissance of indoor gardening?

“Young mums seem to be a large part of our customer base, but plant lovers stretch across a range of ages both guys and girls. People love adding greenery to their own space and they make great gifts,” she said.

“I think people really love the additional benefits adding plants to a space can bring – whether it be increasing productivity or improving air quality,” Lauren said.

I asked Lauren if there were any emerging trends following hot on the heels of the succulent fad and she said she doesn’t really like having favourites or identifying what’s trendy in plants.

“I think its all about choosing a position in your space first, whether it be home or office, understanding what lightning conditions you have and what kind of care you are able to give to your plant and go from there.”

“That practical stuff sounds boring but its important… we have a big range to choose from with a range of foliage types with various sizes and colour variations.”

“We also have some great pots and vessels to pair our plants with so you can decide on what plants will work best for you.”

The Borrowed Nursery is open Tuesday – Friday, 10.00am – 4.00pm and Saturdays 10.00am – 2.00pm. Find them at 42-44 Cronulla Ave, Mermaid Beach, right next door to 19Karen Gallery.

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