Latin for ‘garden’, Hortus is an innovative cafe in the Docklands neighbourhood in the city of Melbourne. The cafe is a collaboration between the specialty coffee proprietors Seven Seeds, art consultancy Utopian Slumps and Folk Architects. It takes the form of a stand-alone greenhouse that featuring interior and exterior gardens of native, exotic and edible plants as part of an installation from local artist Lauren Berkowitz.

Employed as a horticulturalist, I am responsible for the ongoing maintenance, upkeep and appearance of the vegetation in this specialist setting that represents a combination of public open space, hospitality industry and art installation. I maintain species that range from indigenous Wahlenbergia communis to stalwart houseplant Ficus elastica, working within the unique environment of the site and preserving the public face of the business and the original intent of the artist. I work independently without any supervision, and am the point of contact for the business regarding horticultural issues and respond pragmatically as issues arise. In addition to general landscape maintenance at the site, I also provide feedback on all parts of the horticultural system;

  • designing and repairing automated irrigation systems
  • replacing degrading plant stock
  • propagation from existing plant stock to replenish numbers
  • ongoing pest control