Soon you’ll be able to trade orchids in an iconic British bungalow between listening to gardening lectures.
Owned by the English when they settled in Coimbatore, then by T Stanes and Company, this heritage site is now a garden centre. Taking inspiration from garden centers overseas, Kalyani Narayanan, Senior Manager — Business Development at T Stanes, started working on the concept more than six months ago.
The culmination of his efforts, along with a company team, is the Stanes Garden Centre. It caters to plant lovers in and around Coimbatore with selfie corners, a beverage kiosk selling teas from T Stanes plantations, a pond, a vertical garden and of course hundreds of plants.
“Gardening brings a sense of community and garden centers are local to the community they support. In countries like the UK there is at least a small flowerpot at the entrance to almost every house. And there are several garden centres. We want to capitalize on the interest in gardening in Coimbatore. There are so many vegetable garden posts in Coimbatore on Instagram. It is possible to turn this interest into a knowledge-rich skill through gardening workshops and clubs,” says Kalyani, 25.
Selfie point at Stanes Garden Center | Photo credit: Siva SaravananS
“The Center is a one-stop-shop for gardening enthusiasts,” says Lakshmi Narayanan, full-time manager of T Stanes and Company. In the center of the aisle, shaded by green netting, pots of barcoded plants are lined up on tables. Baskets are available to customers to pick the plants of their choice.
There are over 15,000 plants here, from 300 categories – flowering plants, fruit trees, herbal plants, cacti and crotons, to name a few. One section features recommended plants and trees for different birth stars and another is devoted to herbs. All plants are tropical varieties that can be easily grown locally.
Kalyani Narayanan, Senior Director – Business Development of T. Stanes and Company | Photo credit: Siva Saravanan S
For those who wish to buy pots, fertilizers, pesticides or gardening tools, the Center has developed organic products in-house. “We have been interacting with farmers in rural areas for several years and some of our products have household names. We want to make them available for urban plant lovers,” adds Lakshmi.
Between young shoots and old trees, stone benches allow visitors to sit down for a cup of tea or catch up with friends. A lily pond with a vertical garden on its edges and a selfie point is another attraction.
To encourage people to gift plants to their friends, the center encourages visitors to choose a plant and a pot, then share the recipient’s address with center staff, who will arrange for the plants to be delivered.
There is also a support service where customers can be guided by experts and benefit from after-sales service for the maintenance of the installations. In the coming days, the Center plans to organize workshops focused on home gardening, garden clubs and events.
For more details call 6380829127/ 9080384045