6 green respites in the Klang Valley for nature and plant lovers

How does retail therapy and a cup of coffee sound?

Nearly 500 species take residence at 1 Utama Shopping Centre's horticultural sanctuary (Photo: Sam Fong/ The Edge Malaysia)

Whether you are seeking potted gems to enliven your home or adding to your backyard, these green spaces — some even have a side of coffee and bites — have them in spades.


Secret Garden @ 1Utama
Best for a quick respite in the city


This rooftop garden also doubles as a educational spot to teach the public about nature conservation (Photo: Sam Fong/ The Edge Malaysia)

With their big asphalt parking lots and boxy layout, it is easy to think of malls, particularly long-established ones, as anti-landscape. To make your shopping experience greener, literally, 1 Utama Shopping Centre ensures that the plantings at its 30,000 sq ft rooftop oasis, grown in biochar to provide root growth and water penetration, are as up-to-date as its tenants and attractions.

Regulars of Secret Garden will find several updates: Two bee houses have been erected for the stingless kelulut to teach the public about conservation; the space is now well-lit at night to encourage lingering, and a partnership with coffee purveyor Yew Yew allows one to enjoy a cuppa in a cosy café setting with a side of nature.

Nearly 500 species take residence at this horticultural sanctuary with dedicated corners featuring Amazon water lilies, giant colocasia, local paddy and cocoa trees. Photography spots are aplenty, including a curtain of stringy cissus with dangling roots — trimmed to resemble a chandelier hung from a pergola — that leads you to a seating area illuminated with fairy lights in the evenings.

Take the elevator up to level UR (Upper Roof) at the New Wing, 1Utama, PJ, or see here for more information.


Pulpy Garden
Best for house plants


Green and pet-friendly, the store is neighbours with several cafes and restaurants — perfect for a post-meal shopping spree with your fur kids (Photo: Low Yen Yeing/ The Edge Malaysia)

If your space has been feeling dull lately and you wish to breathe some life back into it, a potted plant or two is certain to get you on the right track. Selecting the right leafy friend can be difficult, especially when confronted with sprawling wholesalers.

Located in the heart of the city, Pulpy Garden offers you the joy of handpicking your plants without all the confusion that comes with larger stores. After beginning by specialising in succulents, Pulpy Garden branched out into all kinds of indoor plants, several potted in adorable planters. If you want something easy to care for that can sit on your work desk or are up for the challenge of larger, higher-maintenance flora, this place has it all.

Founder Josephine Ong and team, as well as her fluffy companion Snoopy, are always happy to offer advice to help your plants flourish, ensuring confidence in both newbie and experienced plant parents.

48, Slate @ The Row, Jalan Doraisamy, Chow Kit, KL. Tues to Sun, 10:30 am to 6pm. Place orders here or call (03) 2202 8357.


The Nest
Best for succulents + botanical workshops


Learn how to dress up your plants with whimsical pots and cute figurines at The Nest (Photo: Emily Yap/ The Edge Malaysia)

Heritage Lane at Empire Damansara has seen better days, so we hope The Nest, a newly opened plant shop by Little Eden Succulents, will be able to endow it with a bit more life. Filled with a lush cornucopia of fleshy, spiny and leafy greenery, the charming sanctuary, with sunlight pouring in from floor-to-ceiling windows, offers respite and breathing space away from the city’s cacophony.

Those who enjoy browsing would be tickled to find little figurines playfully hidden behind plants in ornamental terrariums of different shapes and sizes. Whimsical pots and gardening paraphernalia, alongside a diverse variety of succulents, cacti and indoor plants, fill the shelves to the brim.

On weekends, terrarium specialists are often booked to lead workshops, guiding participants to build their own tiny landscapes to be placed on their coffee tables or office desks. After all, it is said that having a plant close by can lead to improved mood, concentration and creativity.

The Nest has hosted a handful of corporate and team-building classes at its space, but recommends the activity to friend groups or couples seeking to bond over creating something together. Solo parties are more than welcome to reap the therapeutic benefits of gardening too, of course.

F19, First Floor, Heritage Lane, Empire Damansara, Jalan PJU 8/8A, Damansara Perdana, PJ. Tues to Sun, 10am to 8pm. Call (010) 205 9318 to place orders.


Lotus Florist x VCR
Best for greens with a side of caffeine


Lotus Florist's partnership with VCR has brought new faces to the neighbourhood (Photo: Emily Yap/ The Edge Malaysia)

Out with the old and in with the new. After relocating to a bigger place a few doors down the block at Jalan Gasing, Lotus Florist started the year with a brand new store to better serve patrons looking for floral arrangements, garlands and bouquets.

A neighbourhood favourite, the florist has always supplied beautiful blooms at reasonable prices to a steady stream of regulars. But its partnership with artisanal coffee expert VCR, which occupies half of the establishment, has brought new faces to the area, which is usually teeming with lunch-hour crowds making a beeline for authentic Indian fare at nearby Gem Restaurant. Mid-mornings are busier now, with people dropping by for coffee and staying for the carnations, or vice versa.

Although Lotus Florist delivers around the Klang Valley, many customers still prefer to do self-pickups after placing their orders online. Warm attendants offer greetings with a smile, with a row of potted orchids, stems curved in obeisance, backing up the welcome committee. Florists work their magic behind a glass door. A walk-in chiller for cut flowers is ensconced at the back. The café offers a decent brunch menu, from avocado toasts to creamy pastas, as well as cakes and pastries for afternoon tea. So much for a short floral errand!

5, Jalan Gasing, PJS 6, PJ. Daily, 8am to 9pm. Call (012) 260 1881 to place orders.


Sanyi Orchid
Best for orchids


Hunt for vivid, exotic and reasonably priced Phalaenopsis at Sanyi (Photo: Genie Leong/ The Edge Malaysia)

Books should not be judged by their covers, and neither should plant stores by their facades. Do not let Sanyi Orchid’s plain exterior — or the bumpy road leading to it — deter you in your hunt for vivid, exotic and reasonably priced Phalaenopsis. Visitors are immediately greeted by row upon row of flowers of all shapes and sizes in vibrant yellows, pinks and purples. Spotted or plain, large or miniature, there is something to spark joy for any and all orhid lovers.

For gifting and displaying purposes, beautifully potted options are also readily available. Most importantly, particularly for collectors of the bloom of beauty and refinement, is the shop’s varied exotic specimens that are sure to become the envy of your gardening community. The team of helpful experts behind the store operates on the belief that, with a set of simple rules, these blooms should be easy to care for and last a long time both in the home and at the office.

Lot 15, Kawasan Lanskap & Nurseri, Garden Mart, Jalan Tropicana Selatan, Tropicana, PJ. Daily, 8am to 7pm. Place orders at here or call (017) 8831 889.


Weng Hoa Flower Boutique
Best for cut flowers + affordable bouquets


Quality cuttings are imported on a daily basis from all over the globe (Photo: Kong Wai Yeng/ The Edge Malaysia)

At this Petaling Street institution that springs to life even before the sun comes up, the laws of climatology seem to have been temporarily suspended. Even in our hot and humid weather, clusters of hydrangeas, roses wrapped in squares of corrugated cardboard, and delicate tulips bloom by the tubful. Established in 1983, this friendly neighbourhood favourite, which also owns three smaller floral entities namely Kum Thong Trading, Gerai Omar Sultan Wong and Kent Florist, has built a stable of weekly customers looking for wedding decor inspiration or affordable bouquets to surprise a lucky recipient.

Quality cuttings are imported on a daily basis from all over the globe, especially its own farms in Kenya, India, Holland, Colombia, Ecuador and Southern America. Although Weng Hoa’s arrangements may look simple and fuss-free, they consistently rise to the occasion, whether to add colour to a hotel lobby, acknowledge kindness, celebrate a milestone or repair a friendship.

1, Jalan Hang Lekir, KL. Daily, 8am to 10pm. Place orders here or call (014) 921 2019.


This article first appeared in issue No. 111, Spring 2024 of Haven

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