3 KL-based plant businesses stay connected to Mother Earth by going green

Helping modern urban dwellers create their own personal patch of Zen in the big concrete jungle.

From left: Jan Zainal (Taman Hati); Yong Jay & Wendy Kok (Botanique KL); Nigel & Neal Edwin (Rent a Pot)

The burgeoning business of cacti and succulents might largely be credited to millennial demand for these houseplants but the statistics do show that in an age when big families and rearing children are on the wane, they are the new planet-friendly replacements. And why not? You would be hard-pressed to find a home that does not benefit from a touch of green and lush potted plants are an easy way to stay connected to Mother Earth and the outdoors no matter the size or location of your living space. The recent restrictions on movement implemented around the globe make it imperative to look inwards and stay grounded. And if a humble houseplant can help us do that, who are we to argue? In this light, we speak to three companies about the business of going green ... literally.


Taman Hati

While the name of her bijou plant boutique, located on the first level of a shoplot in Bangsar, might be inspired by the 2012 Astro television drama series Dalam Hati Ada Taman, owner Jan Zainal shares that there is also a Malay proverb that goes, rupanya garang tapi dalam hati ada taman.

“Basically, that describes a person with a fierce demeanour but who is actually very soft-hearted on the inside. I also chose Taman Hati for its literal meaning, for in my heart, there is a garden,” says the 49-year-old.

An electrical and electronic engineer who graduated from the University of Salford, Manchester, and worked as an IT consultant, Jan chose to pursue her original passion for plants full-time in 2015. “It had always been a hobby of mine, pottering about with terrariums and the like. I moved into this space in August 2018. My intention was just to use it as storage or someplace where I could run terrarium workshops and keep the mess away from my home. It was only a few shelves here and there plus a pallet table and suddenly, it became this jungle. People began to visit, asking me to sell them this plant and that, and that’s how it all began,” she says smiling.



For the full story, pick up a copy of The Edge Malaysia (Mar 23, 2020) at your nearest news stand. Save by subscribing to us for your print and/or digital copy.

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