Markus Hamence aka The Botanic Designer, is an Interior Designer with a long standing love of indoor plants. He’s also gathering quite the following on social media, as plant-adoring South Australians follow the exploits of possibly the State’s most prolific plant lover.
Honestly, we’ve never anyone living in a home with as many indoor plants as Markus has, and we also never realised you could STYLE such a home, given it’s pretty much a jungle. Yet Markus has somehow managed to channel his interior design skills, as a plantsman (one who loves plants for their own sake and knows how to cherish them) and given us insta-envy.
Having experience in trial and exploration, Markus has gathered his knowledge of plants through experimentation and is currently doing a degree in Horticulture.
Previously, he owned Interior Design stores Louis Bond & BlackCherry, but his current passion, The Botanic Designer, offers his followers ‘tips & tricks’, video content, advice and plenty of inspirational indoor plant and interior imagery.
Given his plant-obsession, we thought we’d find out more about how this all came about.
How would you describe your style?
My Interior Style is best summed up as ‘Home Jungle Luxe’ – a fusion of excessive indoor plants and decor & furniture glamour
How many plants would you have in your home?
Literally now over 400, that includes the patio plants with ALL my herbs. You’d think that makes me a cook. It isn’t so.
Do you have a favourite?
Alocasia Zebrina is by far my favourite. Her radical stem pattern is outrageous.
Do you name your plants?
Sadly yes, and I talk to them and play them music when I’m not at home. They have learnt to LIKE Madonna and LOVE Gaga.
Are pots as important to you as the plants?
Heck yeah, I’m all about bringing terra-cotta back right now, I still have a lot of basket ware BUT I’m really enjoying the contrast of greenery with the orange of the terra-cotta!
Does your plant obsession affect your relationships?
Yes, I’m single. Love me, love my plants, seems no-one has that much love to go around (that or the fact I’m slightly OCD). I shall wait patiently till my Prince Charming comes along gifting a Maiden Hair Fern.
Who comes first, your plants or your partner?
Me, Plants, then Partner! Oh, yeah! I see now. That’s why I’m still single. Ooops.
How long do you spend watering each week?
About 2 hours a week, spread over various days. My landlord put up my water usage bill. Actually I have 3 fish tanks and when I do water change I use that water – my plants LOVE it like a drug.
Are there any plans you don’t like?
I think sometimes the plants don’t like me, they can be high maintenance – perhaps I should just try a regular relationship?? I honesty, I will find the beauty in almost any plant. Except for shrubs maybe.
When did you begin collecting plants?
The collection I have now are 5 years old. But my fascination for plants really began when I was a shy, introverted child (that changed).
What about flowers? Is there any room in your heart (or home) for them?
I’m not really into flowers, I have a strong pull towards foliage. I find their structure, leaf pattern and colour difference is fascinating enough with out bloom.
Do you give plants as gifts?
Ummm yes, I think my friends are over it and would prefer basic socks and hankies again.
Tell us about your business.
The Botanic Designer was born thanks to a lunch with a friend, she was asking about a plant that was dying in her home and I went on a full-blown pedestal of knowledge about it. She really pushed me to do as a career what I knew and could talk about effortlessly.
Share your tips on keeping plants healthy and happy.
Fresh air, good light and careful watering. Over watering kills more plants than under watering. Oh, and play them more Madonna.
What is a great plant variety for those who struggle to keep plants alive?
Great question. Sanseveria is a stunner. Spathyphillum is a winner. And even the old faithful Draceana Janet Craig does fabulous. My new favourites though are the Chinese Evergreen varieties – sensational, colourful and super low maintenance surprisingly.
Have you got enough plants in your life now?
NOOOOOOOOOOOO! I NEED MORE PLANTS! Don’t send help – I am dealing with this in my own way. But being able to supply plants for clients help a little. As long as I’m surrounded by plants, I’m a happy man. Plants bring positive good vibes, cleanse the air, help create a beautiful home. AND substitute the lack of a relationship, haha.
The Botanic Designer offer a selection of plants to purchase each day (Monday through to Thursday). Every Friday you can have them delivered direct to your door (or if it’s a gift, to the address of your choice) if you live in Adelaide, South Australia and the surrounding suburbs. All plants are presented in on trend pots. Easy right? Markus is also available for Interior Design and Botanic Design work at [email protected]
Shop The Botanic Designer (plants, plus candles and canvas art) at www.thebotanicdesigner.com