Trader Profile: Christina, The Prahran Garden Centre

An expert in all things garden-related, we sat down with owner of Prahran Garden Centre, Christina Park to find out more about the Elizabeth St nursery, her earliest food memory and what she plans to do next.

What did you do before owning Prahran Garden Centre?
I studied floristry at Marjorie Milner College and worked for a number of leading wedding companies and floral experts. I love nature. I decided to become a gardener who grows flowers rather than a cut flower bouquet maker.
What do you enjoy most about owning Prahran Garden Centre?
Plants bring me so much joy and happiness and sharing them with my customers is the most beautiful thing.

What is something people may not know about you?
I studied colour design and my first career was a Japanese origami wrapping instructor.
What is the most common question you get asked? 
‘How often do I water plants?’ is the question I get asked most frequently. Watering is the hardest part of caring for plants. It depends on the type of plants, whether they’re indoors or outdoors, how much sun they get etc. The right answer is: Ask your plants! “Are you thirsty?”.
What is your best tip for the not-so-green thumbs out there?
Love is always the best tip for caring for nature, including humans. Caring constantly with love.

What is a great looking plant that is easy to care for?
Spathipyllum, commonly called ‘Peace Lily’. It has beautiful green leaves with gorgeous white flowers. It is one of the most popular indoor plants that grows well in shady spots as well. 

How does your day start?
I’m an early bird. I wake up around 5am every morning and say hello to my husband, my dog and my garden. 

What is your favourite plant or flower? 
It’s hard for me to choose just one or two plants. Every plant and flower has its own individual beauty. 

What is your earliest food memory? 
I used to visit my grandparents’ home every summer when I was young. The steamed sweet corn that we harvested and ate together was so tasty. I am in my 50s now, but every time I eat sweet corn it reminds me of the time I spent with my grandparents. I hope that one day I can share the food I grow myself with my grandkids. 

What is your favourite dish to eat? 
I love seafood. I am so lucky that Prahran Market has the best fresh seafood.
What do you love most about being at Prahran Market? 
I lived in Toorak and loved Prahran Market even before being a trader. Our market is the best quality food market in Melbourne. I am so proud that I am part of it. I love shopping for fresh food and seafood after work. 

What do you love to do on your day off?
My husband and I usually visit wholesale nurseries to buy plants and enjoy brunch in a cafe. We love nature and food. Owning a nursery cafe is our next business goal for the future.

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