Andy Kepitis is a person of many inventive abilities, because the founding father of kep Horticulture, and co-founder of the wildly standard tiled furnishings enterprise P0LY Designs (extra on that second half right here!).
The horticulturist’s ardour for crops extends far past work – simply have a look at his Northcote sharehouse backyard. Initially nothing however knee-high grass, Andy has spent the final 5 years turning this yard right into a rambling wonderland full of potted cacti and succulents.
When not tending to his personal backyard or working for P0LY, you’ll discover Andy crafting inexperienced areas and sourcing crops for purchasers throughout Melbourne. From sprawling suburban backyard plantings to small house options, there isn’t a backyard Andy doesn’t love bringing to life!
Hello Andy! Are you able to inform us a bit about your skilled background and the way this introduced you to horticulture?
Effectively I suppose it began after I studied accounting at college and realised that complete world was very not for me. I’ve all the time had a eager curiosity in artwork, drawing and portray all by means of my life, but it surely wasn’t till I found a love of crops that I discovered the medium that I might actually specific myself with. I might now depend on Mom Nature to do the heavy lifting, and all I’d must do is put shapes, colors and types collectively that I feel would work.
How does horticulture differ from panorama design and panorama structure?
The way in which I see horticulture and horticulturists is that we’re all gardeners that needed to take the additional step into gardening for a day job. Horticulturists are the right complement to panorama designers and designers, who could have a tremendous understanding of learn how to create an area that fits a consumer’s wants, however could lack a number of the sensible data of how crops develop and what shall be finest suited to sure features, soil sorts and microclimates.
Do you concentrate on any particular kind of inexperienced house?
I don’t restrict myself to any particular kind of house. I’ve labored on initiatives from sprawling suburban backyard plantings, to filling troublesome spots the place purchasers haven’t had any success in rising something, inner-city courtyards, flats, and balconies.
A favorite house I’ve labored on is the splendidly renovated Newry Home by Austin Maynard Architects, the place I had the pleasure of planting out the indoor backyard mattress that sits within the coronary heart of the light-filled dwelling.
What’s your method to making a backyard? What makes it a kep Horticulture design?
I need to create gardens which are energetic, color, texture and type. I like perennial-style plantings that use grasses to create a way of motion, utilizing my favorite cacti and succulents to offer 12 months spherical construction, mixing Australian native crops with exotics and interspersing ‘showy’ flowers all through for good measure. Crops are dynamic and are all the time altering with the seasons, so I like to verify the backyard is all the time filled with curiosity year-round, whether or not or not it’s by means of utilizing the construction of crops or the colors of flowers and foliage. I would like purchasers to have an enter and an attachment to their backyard within the hopes they’ll begin spending extra time outdoors appreciating crops.
From my time as a panorama labourer working in largely the japanese suburbs of Melbourne, I’ve now developed an aversion to sure plant palettes – those you see in each backyard on the street the place somebody has mentioned ‘I would like precisely what they’ve obtained.’ When there are literally thousands of crops to select from, why restrict your self to the ten that everybody else has? Likelihood is crops that will develop nicely on one aspect of the road could not develop nicely on the opposite aspect. I choose crops I do know will develop efficiently in every particular person backyard.
One factor I’m all the time attempting to do is persuade purchasers that the reply is extra crops. I don’t need to see any soil or mulch in backyard beds for just a few causes. Firstly, crops are all the time extra attention-grabbing to have a look at than naked patches; and secondly (and this will all the time increase an eyebrow or two!), the extra crops you have got in a backyard mattress, the much less upkeep you’ll have to do in the long term as a result of crops shading and outcompeting any weeds that will need to attempt to set up themselves.
Do you have got a backyard philosophy?
In my very own backyard, there’s no end line in sight. There’s no finish aim I’m attempting to get to; my backyard will all the time be evolving and altering as crops develop and die, and as I uncover new crops to fall in love with and attempt to develop.
I do know this philosophy is probably not sensible for everybody on the market, as they might not need to spend all their leisure time gardening, however [my aim is to] a minimum of assist purchasers to get their palms soiled now and again, get them all the way down to the nursery to purchase new crops, and know if a plant dies there’s no motive to surrender… One of the best gardeners on the market would have killed numerous crops – the factor is they simply hold coming again for extra!
What do you like most about what you do?
The fixed studying, rising, gaining of data, and realizing that it’s inconceivable to know every little thing about crops. I discover a lot satisfaction in strolling into my greenhouse each morning and afternoon (and some other second) and checking in on my crops, seeing flowers for the primary time, germinating seeds, and seeing new leaves and spines rising. Watching my crops and backyard develop and develop as time goes by, speaking with different gardeners about their success and failures, assembly individuals from all walks of life which have the identical factor in frequent – a love for crops.
Study extra about kep Horticulture right here, and observe Andy’s private plant journal on Instagram.