Sharon is a horticultural consultant and garden designer with over 25 years experience working in Perth. After expert training and experience at Waldecks, Sharon co-founded The Terrace Gardener in Waratah Avenue, Dalkeith. Sharon now works as a horticultural consultant, and garden designer, allowing her to indulge all her passions of designing gardens of all sizes, and discovering, researching and finding the plants that will best fit peoples homes.
Sharon will join us at Stackwood next month to teach a plant know how session covering the basics of indoor plant care such as light, water and position, everything you need to know to keep your green friends healthy and happy. We asked Sharon her tips for keeping your indoor plants alive.
You and plants – tell me about where it all started.
I have always loved flowers and plants. I am told that as a toddler I would wander into other people’s gardens and pick their flowers.
I do still forage for flowers today, but respectfully!
One of my earliest memories as a child is hosting a make-believe television show about plants while walking around my back garden – like Gardening Australia. I also frequently made posies for my family, and pressed flowers in a plant press. When I finished high school I knew working with flowers and plants was my calling.
What is your number one tip for keeping plants happy and healthy?
I would say the most important thing is selecting the right plant for the indoor environment you wish to grow them in and love of course!
What is the biggest mistake people make caring for their indoor plants?
Water... too much or too little (it is usually too much!)
If you had to recommend one product for taking care of your indoor plants what would it be and why?
Seasol – Seasol is a plant tonic, an organically-based product made from kelp that can be used any time of the year. It is not a fertiliser, more a plant pick me up that builds up the plant immune system and boosts microbe activity in the soil. Indoor plants and ferns respond well to it and a healthy plant not only looks great, it is less likely to be susceptible to pest or disease attack. It's cheap and oh so effective.
What can you expect from one of your Stackwood workshops?
I want people to be able to proceed with confidence and knowledge in selecting and caring for their indoor plants to keep them happy and healthy. We will spend a morning in the warehouse together chatting about all things plants and there will be plenty of time for question and answer!
Prediction for the most popular houseplant for 2018.
In general, people are developing a greater interest towards plants with striking foliage, variegation and patterns. So I think the elusive Monstera deliciosa variegated form certainly deserves to be the most popular houseplant for 2018. Although the availability of these types of plants may hold it back. The green form reached peak last year and I know houseplant lovers would love to add a variegated form to their indoor plant family. It has a haunting beauty with foliage that ranges from ghost-like white to marbled.
Sharon Barbera will join us at Stackwood for a series of monthly workshops Indoor Plant Know How coming up 14 April, 12 May, 26 May and 9 June. Tickets are $10 and are on sale now (they sell out quick - hurry!) Ticket holders get 10% off plants at the Stackwood concept store on the day of the workshop.
Images by Rae Fallon.