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Merchant & Green

Shopping, Florists Redfern
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Time Out says

Versatility is the name of the game at this greenhouse full of budding blooms

While some traditionalists may insist that a florist’s shelves should only be stocked with pretty petals, the attitude at Redfern’s Merchant & Green is much more liberal, and we’re loving it. The gorgeous white terrace building is bursting with unusual blooms, as well as houseplants, pots, cards and gardening tools. 

Chris Saban is at the helm of this friendly florist, which he’s designed meticulously as a reflection of his own style, melded with the wants and needs of the community. The airy store is filled with vibrant bouquets, bunches of wildflowers and big shocks of cotton. You can pick up a tailored posy for around $35, a larger native arrangement for $60, or grab a fragrant bunch of daffodils for eight bucks. 

“We have a pretty exotic range too, like cymbidium orchids – they’re supersized – vanda orchids, and incredibly rare things like slipper orchids,” Saban says.

But there’s a lot more to the store than flowers. There are shelves of ceramics, hanging vines and ferns, plus everything you might need to plant a small forest at home. They’ve got all the hot-to-trot houseplants like fiddle leaf figs, rubber trees, devil’s ivy, and Swiss cheese plants, with well established ferns going for $70-$110.

“We also offer a full potting service. So if you pick up a plant and pot, or bring a plant in to buy a pot, we’ll pot it for you,” Saban says. “It’s [especially helpful] if you’re in an apartment and don’t have much space, don’t want to make a mess or have no idea where to start.”

They don’t stop there, either. Together with his small team, Saban runs weekly workshops in flower arranging to terrarium classes, sustainable weaving and making Japanese kokedama moss balls. These are run as private masterclasses as well as group activities, with as many as seven classes per week. 

“I think the workshops also make us stand apart: lots of florists do workshops, but I don’t think they do as many as us or the scope of classes we do.”

The veteran florist enjoys keeping things fresh – he’s even starting a new personalised garden design service – and says he’s got more time to experiment since moving out of event floristry and opening Merchant & Green two years ago. For Saban, his business is about meaningful exchanges and, like a lot of us flower-seekers, chasing incredibly perfumed nostalgia.

“Jonquils remind me of being about five or six and crawling through the fence to get next door to play with the neighbour kids, and I had to crawl through those to get there. It’s amazing the power of fragrance.”

Details

Address: 674
Bourke St
Redfern
Sydney
2016
Contact:
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8.30am-6pm; Sat, Sun 9am-4pm
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