For the love of plants: A little patch of green in the middle of a crowded place
September 21, 2018 09:16 AM NPT
By: Rea S Mishra
Granted there are many nurseries in Kathmandu from where you can purchase plants of all kinds. But The Plant Shop at Gyan Mandala in Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur, is where you must go if you want to bring one home only after understanding how to take proper care of it. Maya Ghale, proprietor of The Plant Shop, will tell you exactly how to tend to the plant you decide to buy before you take it home.
Situated at the ground floor of the Gyan Mandala complex, The Plant Shop is a little patch of green so aesthetically pleasing that it just beckons you to come have a look. As someone who has always been fascinated by plants since her childhood, Ghale has made sure that the place isn’t just a store that sells plants but exhibits them in their full glory while they are there.
“I used to bring home plants that fascinated me even as a child,” says Ghale adding that she could never take her hobby seriously especially after she had her daughter who she wanted to give round-the-clock attention. But now that her daughter has started going to school, Ghale finally has the time to invest in something she has always been so passionate about.
And it’s this passion that has made her shop an instant success of sorts. Even though it has just been two weeks that The Plant Shop has opened its doors to the public, Ghale has already had great response from her customers. This, Ghale believes, is mainly due to the fact that she knows all about the plants that she sells and can educate her customers on how to tend to the plants once they take them home.
“Most nursery owners don’t really know much about plants. Sometimes, people buy plants without even knowing their names and when that’s the case taking good care of them is impossible,” says Ghale further mentioning that this is the reason why plants are mostly neglected once bought and also why many don’t thrive.
At The Plant Shop, Ghale has plans of adding little leaflets to all the pots she has there with information on how to take care of that particular plant. And that’s not all. Ghale is even ready to take purchased plants back from the customers should they be unable to look after them anymore or if the condition of the plant deteriorates. In that way, you could say The Plant Shop is actually a shelter for plants. “If anyone wants to throw their plants away, he/she can give it to us so we can save and nurture them,” says Ghale.
According to Ghale, she wants to educate people about plants so that people don’t tend to it as a burden once the initial novelty of having a houseplant wears off. And that is why she plans on holding workshops to spread awareness about how to take care of plants, and also why she only sells succulents, cacti and tropical plants that are all low maintenance and don’t require constant care. Moreover, she doesn’t sell plants that she doesn’t know much about herself and this is because she will not be able to teach customers how to look after them.
However, in terms of product sales, The Plant Shop isn’t limited to selling plants only. It sells other important gardening components too such as cacti mix, succulent mix, fertilizers, plant furniture like wall hangers and macramé, and handmade plant themed cards. Everything besides the plant furniture is already available at the shop. The plant furniture needs to be preordered but Ghale claims that it will arrive quickly, within a week of the order placement.
While opening a plant shop was a dream come true for Ghale, she admits that she did face a few difficulties at times. “In Nepal, it’s hard to find people who are both well educated and passionate about plants. So it was quite difficult for me to find staff for my store at first,” she confesses before quickly adding that at the moment she is blessed with enthusiastic and zealous staff who really want to learn more about plants. Ghale also talks about how it’s hard to get ingredients for different soil and potting mixes as she makes everything herself. However, being the plant enthusiast that she is, after a lot of research and experimentation, Ghale has now figured out how to make such mixes with what’s readily available in the local market.
The price of the plants at Ghale’s shop currently starts from Rs 150, with the most expensive plant being priced at Rs 2700. As for the plant furniture, the price ranges from Rs 450 to Rs 1500, and the cards are for Rs 150 each. Ghale says that she wants to make the shop affordable while delivering quality products at the same time. You can find The Plant Shop on Facebook and Instagram under the name The Plant Shop Ktm if you want to quickly browse through the available products. We guarantee that you will decide to head over to the physical outlet to see the little beauties for yourself.