Seven weeks ago the new and colourful interactive space at Mappins Nursery & Aquarium in West End opened its doors to the public. Surprised and amazed faces were guaranteed.

Owner Darryl Mappins relocated his business five years ago from Brookfield to West End and created since then not just a happy and green work environment; more so he also puts his focus on forming a creative space, where people are welcome to “play and muck around” with soil and plants, to find and explore their personal creative vine.

The Nursery & Aquarium features various rooms, showcasing indoor and outdoor plants, reptiles, fish, terrariums and soon to come: Vivariums ­– a combination of landscape, water and animals.

The new interactive space started with a hole punched through the wall of the bordering room, next door that Darryl leased – and evolved from there.

Darryl likes to inspire creative people and gave street and graffiti artists the opportunity to fill the room with their artwork. Most of the artists that contributed to the project are from West End, which grants the room with an additional artful note and connection to the area.

“It’s an interesting blend, it’s very West End, its very rough but as a consequence it is very forgiving,” says Darryl.

It definitely is a vibrant and creative space, where people get a hands-on experience and the freedom to explore and have fun with plant material.

“Especially for people living in inner-city apartments and units, it’s a great opportunity. They can’t be messy at their homes but they can be messy here,” says Darryl.

“Ultimately, we want to give people the opportunity to be creative in a number of different ways,” he says.

The interactive space features an expansive workspace, where also creative workshops are held. You will be able to create you own terrarium, succulent Kokedama or participate in flower crown master classes.

“There are always little projects going on, this place is allowing you to do that and people can experience what is going on,” says Darryl.

The new interactive space gives the community in West End, a new and vibrant outlet to be creative. Darryl welcomes people to ponder around, get ideas and inspiration.


Words and Images by Jessica Schremmer