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May 22, 2019

Botanica Boutique wants to green your work desk

Recently moving into a short-term space on Rundle Street, Botanica Boutique is determined its products will have a lasting legacy in dreary offices throughout the city.

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  • Words: Angela Skujins
  • Pictures: Supplied

Co-owner of Botanica, Lesley Williams, says the draw of her business’ products – a range of thoughtfully designed desktop terrariums – is the ability for people to check out from their day-to-day, whether that’s respite from a dreary office or reprieve from the city hustle.

“Maybe you’re spending the day working on your laptop and it’s quite intense,” says Lesley. “If you look up you’ll see this little landscape.”

“People are drawn to the greenery under the glass.”


Botanica Rundle Street
249 Rundle Street, Adelaide 5000

Wed-Thu: 10am ’til 6pm
Friday: 10am ’til 9pm
Saturday: 10am ’til 5pm
Sunday: 12pm ’til 5pm

Botanica’s first Mossarium Workshop is happening on Thursday, 23 May, and you can purchase tickets at the link.

Keep an eye on Botanica’s website for future workshops.

Botanica started three years ago, as part of Lesley and her business partner, Simon Zappia’s Magill Road furniture and furnishings store, Aura Objects. The concept started with the Sanctuary model – a bite-sized terrarium made of 100 per cent recyclable materials, with a plastic base, a mossy underbelly and glass covering.

It can sit comfortably next to your computer or, as Lesley suggests, inside a birthday box.

“It’s very cute and also easily a gift,” she says.

“It’s relatively easy to care for (because) all you need to worry about is not overheating it.”

The impetus to create Sanctuary came from Lesley trying to revive her own personal moss plants.

“To keep my plants alive I would stick a cup over the top of them,” she said.

“People started coming over and saying ‘Wow that’s so cool’ and were drawn to it, and I thought ‘How can we turn this into a product?’”

With a background in furniture design, Lesley knew she could find a marketable solution. She came up with a product that mimics the climate on a forest floor.

“Moss needs moisture,” she explains, “and when you think about it in the rainforest, it’s in a damp cool climate.”

“We want to replicate that environment… The glass tear drop structure funnels the condensation back down into the plant, and looks like an up-market version of the upside-down cup idea.

“Every so often there’s a little drop.”

It is an elegant solution for the ambitious, but realistic, leaf lover.

Lesley Williams – leaf lover


Botanica’s move onto Rundle Street comes courtesy of a three-month Renew Adelaide residency made available on the historic retail strip.

“I’m really happy to be on Rundle Street, and am grateful for Renew Adelaide” says Lesley.

The Maras Group really are quite particular about the quality with what they’re presenting here, and I feel really blessed that my shop could meet that standard.”

And in addition to selling Botanica’s products, Lesley will also hold one-hour workshops regularly at the Rundle Street location, aimed at budding desktop horticulturalists. Patrons can learn about “aquascaping” and how to keep plants alive under their Truman Show-style dome.

The first Mossarium Workshop is happening on Thursday, 23 May, and you can purchase tickets at the link. Keep an eye on Botanica’s website for future workshops.

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