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Living greener, living better

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“Business has been growing tremendously for the past couple of years,” Henny Robertson says of Garden Plus, the deceptively small looking, 13-year-old garden centre she runs on South Lantau Road. You can put this down to the fact that the people who live in Pui O (South Lantau in general) tend to be outdoorsy – and their properties often come with a garden and/ or rooftop. You can also lay it at the pandemic’s door, since plant growing as a hobby (both indoors and out) has boomed during recent months. Gardening is a great way to fill time, for some it’s even a kind of therapy.

While most of the people who drop in at Garden Plus live in Pui O or in nearby Lantau villages, Henny says she also has a number of clients who regularly make their way over from Tung Chung and Discovery Bay, and even from the Mid-Levels and Sai Kung.

Occupying about 1,000 square feet, Garden Plus is packed with plants, seeds, garden tools, soil, fertiliser – everything a keen gardener could need or want. You can also pick up a wide variety of garden furniture, including barbecues and sun shades, both at the Pui O store and at the Garden Plus online shop. But for Henny, who came on board eight
years ago, it’s really all about the plants.

“We have a nursery in China and some of the plants are local. We also order some from Europe,” she says.

A walking plant encyclopaedia, Henny is the go-to person for clients who need advice, always just a WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger away. She grew up in Bulacan, north of Manila, and she’s inherited the teachings of her father who was a farmer.

“We’re offering support,” she says cheerfully. “If you have questions then we answer them. We give advice on how to garden – what to plant where and when.” Ever quick to reassure people who come to her saying they don’t have a green thumb, Henny says it’s all about the way you “take care of the plants, and knowing what is good for
outdoor or indoor.

 

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