There is something very homey about a wall-hanging plant. You don’t see them very often, but they have an almost nostalgic quality reflective of childhood summers spent at grandma’s house. With the merriment of prepubescence in mind, the title of Staghorn’s new wall-hanging plant collection will undoubtedly excavate a giggle from the depths of your inner young’un.
The Superbum Series (aheh) is Staghorn’s new of collection of three wall-hanging designs featuring the Platycerium superbum, a native species of fern.
We caught up with Monique Plunkett of Staghorn to chat about all things superbum-y.
An adventurous creative, Monique has done everything from horticulture and graphic design to running her own textiles label, Elkhorn. Now, after coming almost full circle, she is back working with her self-professed ‘true love’; nature.
‘Lots of my inspiration comes from being outdoors, exploring different street scapes and often garden stalking’, Monique says.
Amongst her love of plants in general, Monique holds a special fondness for ferns; the aforementioned Platycerium Superbum fern, to be exact.
‘Each fern has its own individual character and bottom-like shape (hence the name). This makes them such an interesting plant to mount on the wall’, Monique says.
The Superbum fern is an epiphyte, which means it can grow on trees or anything you attach it to; the marine plywood used in Monique’s Staghorn designs, for example.
Another quirk of the Superbum fern is that they like to eat bananas. Who even knew that ferns could eat fruit, let alone have a favourite!
Having had previous experience running her own design business, Monique is glad that working with plants means a lot less time on the computer and a whole lot more time outdoors with her beloved ferns.
‘It’s a different challenge keeping my products alive’, Monique says, ‘I have a few Superbum babies, air plants and baby ferns that I regularly attend to’.
While they may be her specialty, Monique’s creative work is not limited to fern wall-hangings. Staghorn also offers a unique Plant Design service which involves designing, creating and installing original potted plant displays. Each display is original and designed to suit the clients’ specific needs.
Monique explains, ‘I take a lot of things in to consideration when designing a display, like aspect, space and style.
‘I like to put a different twist on each one so it is unique and not just your standard potted plants plonked in a corner.’
Operating out of Melbourne, Monique designs plant displays for any space, including private homes and businesses, such as cafes, retailers and offices. Depending on the individual style and requirements of her clients, Monique says that her designs are often fresh and simple with the beauty of the plant being the main feature. However, when given the chance, she likes to mix it up.
‘I try to adapt my style to the client and provide something that they will love. But I do love to be able to create something unexpected, incorporating elements you wouldn’t expect to find plants in’, Monique says.
Describing herself as a real beach-lover, Monique admits that she tries to make lots of trips back to her former home in the Central Coast/Sydney area to catch up on some sun. However, as she is now well and truly settled in chilly Melbourne, the antler-like fronds of the Superbum ferns suffice as a reminder of a more exotic climate.
‘There is always something to do in Melbourne; if I’m not busy designing wall hangings and plant displays you’ll find me on my bike en route to a local café or pub or running along the local creek. I’m also a bit of a novice Swing dancer so you’ll often find me dancing the night away at a live jazz or blues gig’, Monique says.
Despite the hard work that goes into Staghorn, Monique loves running her own business, ‘It feels great to have something to call my own; bringing beautiful plant designs together in my latest adventure, Staghorn, and creating spaces that other people love too’.