Archives for category: General

We’re always asked, do you sell plants online? Do you ship? Well now we do!

Shop here for Little Babies !


Welcome to Plant Workshop, the online home for Monstera and Bonsai of New Zealand.

Subscribe to our free Houseplant Newsletter DIRT WISE here

Follow us on Instagram @monsteramonstera

Monstera is located at the City Works Depot (lower area, access via Sale Street, Gate S), or Cooke Street. We are closed Mondays. Hours are 10- 5 Tuesday-Sat (Sun 10-4:30); text us at 027 341 6610.

You can contact Monstera at richard (@) 


Monstera – The Indoor Plant Store

Got back in time and get groovy with some retro houseplants for your home or office. We have a great range of indoor plants as well as cactus and succulents, and bonsai, and heaps of gift goodies. Now open 6 months!




Venus Fly Traps and Pitcher Plants now in stock


Come to Ponsonby Plants and see our new stock of carnivorous plants … and flowering frangipani !


Venus and Mars


Frangipani now in stock – and flowering


Frangipani Flower


Neon (via fence)

Shop at night- outside looking in

Ponsonby Plants is under new ownership. We’ll be posting some shots of the renovations, but best to come visit if you can… and have a look for  yourself.

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From the Keshiki gallery, a bonsai of the NZ native Kowhai (pronounced: co-fi)



The indoor, Keshiki gallery at PP.



Beautiful small orchids – documenting their first appearance in NZ



Photo taken from entrance of PP. Cactus room visible through door on the right


New windows offer an illuminated background for the indoor, Keshiki gallery, with its floating shelves made of solid Douglas Fir.




A few weeks ago I was interviewed about keshiki bonsai for a short piece in NZ House and Garden. Thanks to the very nice folks there.

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article, NZ House and Garden

Here I thought I would expand a little on what I said, and include some of what did not appear in the piece, having to do with what I specifically like about ‘the potted plant.’

The potting of plants came about, no doubt, because of a desire to have plants somewhere where there is no earth to put them in. Indoors, for example, or on a deck or patio. For the same reason, it’s not a great look to have potted plants sitting on grass or other surfaces that look perfectly suitable for planting. It makes the pot look superfluous.

At the same time, there is an aesthetic to the potted plant that goes beyond this ‘out-of-the-ground’ functionality. I like pots because they frame a plant, whereas when in the ground, a plant loses some of its individuality – as it becomes part of the larger landscape.

Pots can be beautiful in their own right, but that is not the point here. Consider the example of bonsai. Here the emphasis is on trees (versus other plant types), usually placed in relatively small and shallow pots. The particulars of bonsai can overshadow a more general desire, which is to remove the plant from the wild or natural setting and place it in a controlled setting – again, to frame it  up.

When applied to the potting of plants generally, bonsai and related disciplines (like the Chinese penjing) remind us that we can made a composition out of ‘plant’ and ‘pot’, regardless of whether or not we prune the plant in some kind of ‘bonsai style.’

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Not a bonsai

In this sense, bonsais are not a closed off area of plant enthusiasm, and there is much to learn about styling our composition from the school of bonsai even if we don’t do ‘bonsai’ (more on this in a later post).

Of course there’s also more to plant life than trees. My interest is in potted plants of all sizes, and not just bonsais. I do lots with grasses (including bamboo), succulents, cacti, et cetera, with an emphasis on individual examples that have a unique appearance.

Often people who do ‘bonsai’ have little interest in plants otherwise, and vice-versa. This seems quite artificial to me. Bonsai are just a type of potted plant and we should not think of it as so specialised (and equally demanding). I don’t care too too much about the ‘rules’ of bonsai in part because I do plants for myself, but also because I want my plants to be enjoyed by people generally. Wouldn’t it be odd if a painter only exhibited his or her art to painters, yet that’s what bonsai enthusiasts typically do, especially in the west.

I particularly like the small ‘keshiki’ bonsai because they create a little landscape or scene all on their own. They can be a real eye-full for something so small. They require a bit of attention, but as they mature they change, and the experience of witnessing this is rewarding, even from week to week.

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Not from my backyard

Saw these today (here) and had to wonder… just how small can you get, and what’s the point?

Can’t say I’ve ever seen sado-masochism applied to plants before…

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Can Nap


Ginger tuckered out, sleeping with the greenhouse (moss inside)


Three shots over 3 weeks. Focus here is on the branch on the right.

Sometimes I find it useful to focus on one specific part of one specific plant, just to monitor in concrete terms, how much growth is occurring. That was relevant here because these small white pines were repotted twice in a short time and I wanted to be sure there were no issues. See it grow like this and you don’t have to worry.





in context


Grasses (and grass-like, clumping perennials) can look great in pots, I think, and it’s affordable and not that commonly done. Got these grasses cheap on sale ($10 total). Pot was just lying around.

Will post updates as this fills in.



We often see images like these when someone’s propagating succulents by taking leaves off the mother plant and getting them to root. But these succulent leaves are doing this all on their own, no humans involved.

(Click on the image for a close up)

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