Brilliant ideas from soil lovers: Fascinating mini gardens a hit for couple
For St Ann couple Garfield Ellis and Donna Hunter, who described themselves as "avid farmers and gardeners, the soil is something that they both cherish.
It wouldn't be surprising, therefore, if both were to combine ideas for a new project that involves the soil. Well, they did, and what a fascinating end result has emerged!
The two have been creating mini gardens, using small containers such as cups, vases or bowls, and producing gift items and office decor that are being appreciated more and more by customers.
"I'm an avid farmer, I'm into greenhouse farming. I have other businesses as well, but it's mostly farming, and I mainly do sweet peppers," Ellis said.
He explained: "This whole thing came about with my love of farming and we were just there as a couple, wondering what we could do that everybody is not doing. We started to brainstorm and then both of us came up with the idea. For people who travel, miniature gardens is not something that is new, it's probably something that they've seen before, but here in Jamaica it's new; so we decided to jump on it."
Over the next two to three months they decided to test the waters, making a few for family members.
"And they loved it! After that it just started to take off," Ellis pointed out.
"As a gardener I have various types of plants succulents, orchids, ferns, palms. I go to different plant shows and just buy samples," Hunter disclosed.
"I've always gone on the Internet to find new ways to make the garden more interesting and more creative, and from that I have installed my own patio and built water features at our home," she added.
"What we do is basically taking a life-size landscape garden, shrink it to a manageable size and putting it in a pot. Ideas come from different landscapes that we have viewed, we do beach scenes, mountain scenes, garden with fountains."
One fine example of these scenic productions is a piece called, 'Meet me at the Chapel'.
"Meet me at the Chapel depicts a church aisle, the entrance, the bright red for me is very welcoming. Everything in this is real succulent, coloured polymer clay for the staircase, the arch is made of wood, also the roof line, and we added a shell and stones."
"We are excited because the reaction has been very positive, persons are really embracing it," said Hunter.
"I think one of the reasons is that we do a mixture of artificial and real plants, as well as we do artificial plants only, because persons sometimes shy away from (real) plants because they think it takes a lot to take care of a plant. The feedback has been very, very positive."