New plant nursery Noraville Green has taken over the garage and backyard of a Darlinghurst terrace. It’s the second store from owner Tanya Baker, who opened the original in her own garage in Noraville on the central coast, about 90 minutes north of Sydney. That first store has since moved to a large retail space in neighbouring Toukley.
“The Toukley store use to be a mechanic … We stripped it all back and rebuilt it with polycarbonate, so it’s a giant greenhouse. We’d never find that in Sydney, but we wanted the experience to be the same,” Baker tells Broadsheet. She describes a visit to the new nursery as a “treasure hunt” – everywhere you look, there’s something different to see.
Opening in Sydney was always part of the plan. “We actually moved from Potts Point and did a sea change in 2016, and then the business gradually grew and grew. We knew once the business was up and running smoothly we would search for a place down here,” she says.
Flooded with natural light, the store is filled with around 150 plants, which are predominantly indoor and shade-friendly tropical garden species.
There are common plants such as monsteras, philodendron, mother-in-law’s tongue and spider plants, alongside Baker’s current favourite, the velvety Peperomia incana (baby rubberplant). There are also rarer varieties, including the variegated Monstera deliciosa. A selection of outdoor screening plants such as bamboo and tiger grass are available, too.
Noraville Green is also stocked with all the accessories you’ll need for your plants to flourish, including pots, fertilisers and soil food.
For those who haven’t been blessed with a green thumb, Baker suggests starting with plants such as a peace lily, devil’s ivy or Zanzibar gem. “All will grow in a lower light situation. The first two just require basic care, and with the Zanzibar gem you only have to water every two months. You just put it in your diary and it’s done,” she says.
The crew at Noraville Green will send you off with instructions to help nurture your new leafy bundle of joy, but welcome a phone call or message if you do run into any plant-related trouble down the track.
Baker’s hot tip on how to keep plants alive is observation. “The key is not ignoring your plants,” she says. “If you see something that’s wrong with it, you need to be attentive. You can’t walk past and say ‘tomorrow’ – if it’s got a bug [on it], you’ve got to get onto that. If it’s dry, you need to water it; you can’t be like, ‘Yeah, later.’”
Noraville Green Darlinghurst
62 Flinders Street (entry via Chisholm Street), Darlinghurst
0408 028 297
Wed to Fri 11am–4pm
Sat & Sun 10am–4pm