Going from Cacti to Native Plants in the Garden with Randi Sirkin

Randi Sirkin sitting on her sick velvet green sofa

Randi Sirkin is the VP of Creative for STARR Restaurants, the world class James Beard winning group designing and operating 37 restaurants. The theatre that she has helped her boss Stephen Starr create, has changed the landscape of food experiences and the hospitality industry. It is an honor to serve her with plants as she bustles throughout her day, especially during a pandemic that is requiring them to pivot many restaurants, create outdoor seating and redesign their customer experience around COVID restrictions.

Randi invited us to chat about her garden on her elegant emerald green sofa in Fishtown. She’s the embodiment of a trait very desirable during tough times – equanimity – mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. So naturally we took our time with this project and tried to give her spaces that reflected peace, natural calm in reflection of her refreshing demeanor.

She’s a fan of cacti – who isn’t right? And her bohemian vibe goes well with a Venice style yard filled with cactus. But during COVID it’s harder to source plants that have to travel far…and we discussed this design challenge as an opportunity to lean more into native plants local to Pennsylvania. She was game for it and we brought in plants that would encourage pollinators to visit more often – like butterflies, bees and the types of animal guests that would aid natural reproduction of the flowering plants. We love when clients are willing to go outside of their style to try something more complimentary to the natural environment; even in cities we can do this more often.

In Randi’s front container we contrasted her white brick facade with a tall dark purple tree that flowers in the spring, some native yellow jasmine and purple allium. All perennials so they’ll surprise her next year with a return visit.

In her backyard we complimented the plush sofa with textured monochrome echinacea coneflowers, yellow pineland wildflowers and dark elephant ears.

One lesson that we try to teach all clients that is in essence the same spirit as Randi’s equanimity – is patience to believe in the process of layering plants and flowers each gardening season. See…too many people expect the

Randi is one of those women you’d be lucky to have as a mentor or colleague in the design or hospitality business. We’re honored to call her a client and will be cheering her on as the food and beverage world reshapes in the next year or so.

– MC girls

Special Thanks to Alex Cahanap and Cohere for the photos in this post!