florist, artist & designer joost bakker

Some people defy labels. Take Joost Bakker. He started working on his father's farm at age five - he is a fifth generation tulip farmer - and now creates sustainable structures that incorporate vegetable gardens and restaurants. One of his biggest creations to date is Greenhouse. Every element of the demountable structure is built from recyclable materials. The first one - in Federation Square, Melbourne - was made of straw bales set into a steel framework. The next one - in Perth - was named Restaurant of the Year in 2010. Over six weeks in February 2011 tens of thousands of visitors went to the Sydney Greenhouse. This structure included chairs made of aluminium irrigation pipes and seats made from leather offcuts from a local saddlery. The Greenhouse tour continues, and plans are afoot for one in London. Joost also creates vertical gardens - one of the finest examples is at his country home in Victoria. They are for sale via his online shop.

Which five words best describe you? Very last minute dot com.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My earliest memories of helping dad harvest bulbs/fruit and veg goes back to when I was five. My love and appreciation of plants sparked an interest in making others see this beauty. At first I did it through art and installations and now I design buildings and infrastructure that allow nature to flourish.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Never ever give up!
What’s your proudest career achievement? Harvesting cucumbers in the middle of Federation Square.
What’s been your best decision? To chase Jen back in 1993, who’s now my wife! That's what I mean by never ever give up.
Who inspires you? Masanobu Fukuoka: he spent his life proving that monocultures don't work.
What are you passionate about? The natural world. Working out how we can live in it, sustain it, encourage it and stop wasting it.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Peter Cundall - legend!
What dream do you still want to fulfill? To replant and re-create the many lost forests and their inhabitants. I know it's not realistic but it is definitely a dream.
What are you reading? Charcoal remedies. Loving it!

images courtesy of joost bakker