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Meet: Paula Benneian

What enticed Paula from a successful career in television to set up a plant shop on the NSW South Coast?

What attracted you to gardening?

Sunday lunches were mostly spent listening to my parent, aunty and uncles talk excitedly about growing all kinds of flowers. I also annoyed mum quite a bit in the garden, too.

What training did you do?

I studied horticulture at Ryde TAFE, followed by courses in design and permaculture. Over the last 30 years, I worked in different facets of horticulture – TV research, garden design, maintenance, landscaping, and retail – and this allowed me to continue to broaden my knowledge. I am lucky to have been exposed to gardening mentors who guided me along my garden path.

Following such a respected TV career, why switch to retailing plants?

After working on multiple TV shows, including Better Homes and Gardens, River Cottage Australia, and Auction Squad, my partner and I decided it was time for a sea change. We moved to the NSW South Coast and established a design, maintenance, and landscaping business and later, an indoor plant store (pictured below). The wonderful thing about (a career) in horticulture is there are many options under one umbrella and opening a retail store was another way I could share my passion.

Pod Gardens Store is located at is 2/82 Monaro St, Merimbula NSW. For more information on their products and services, contact Paula on 0437 570 356 or visit You can also follow Paula on Instagram @podgardens_store

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Author: INTERVIEW: Graham Ross