Getting to know: Ross Uebergang
What makes you so passionate about plants?
How couLd you not be! At the moment I’m very concerned by how much time people spend inside. In this modern life people get up, walk to their car, drive to work, park underground and take the elevator to their cubicle. Then to a café for lunch. You then hop back in the car, make your way home, close the gates behind you, eat dinner and go back to bed.
If you need to spend that much time indoors, I think you have to bring as much nature as possible inside by using indoor plants. The other option is to make outdoor spaces that bring you outside and cater for the functions that you were trying to fulfill indoors. I really want this to be a focus of my business over the next part of my career.
What do plants mean to you?
Plants are life. We are in absolute reliance of them. They provide us with fresh air and food source. They are an absolute necessity. They are my connection to nature and a healthier lifestyle.
How has your lives benefited from gardening?
I’ve spoken about the benefits of plants for our health but on top of this you meet great people. People who love gardening are generally great to be around. I have made so many friends through teaching horticulture and landscape design at the University of Melbourne and Swinburne. It’s very rare to see so many fantastic people in the one room.
Have you killed any plants recently?
Yeah, constantly. I’m definitely the worst in my house. I’m more interested in the setup than everyday maintenance. As a rule, I can’t be trusted to have potted plants in full sun. With indoor plants I shuffle them around the house until I find a spot where there is the just enough sun light to keep them going but not enough to dry them out too quickly. I’m so bad at watering that I’ve installed an irrigation system at my rental home.
Can you provide some tips to planting in small spaces?
I love small spaces. You can get into real detail. First, I would be thinking about natural light. Then how much impact do I need to pull me into the space and make it usable? What plants are will like the natural light that is available? From here I would start thinking about a colour scheme for layering with foliage. Flowers would be a bonus. I would try and find a few plants that aren’t too captivating that can sit in background. These will create a good backdrop for a few more impressive plants to pop out. Perhaps a contrast in foliage colour or shape or an interesting plant structure.