Thu | Aug 22, 2019

Blooming for the season

Published:Sunday | August 4, 2019 | 12:07 AMSegouney Francis - Intern

Summer is a special time for many plant lovers, but few people understand the intricacies of maintaining healthy gardens during the dry season.

Desmond Ellis, owner of Next to Nature Pets and Plants Limited, in St Andrew, says that understanding the different plant types in one’s garden, is critical to the survival of green spaces in the hot temperatures.

“There isn’t such a thing as a summer plant. Instead, there are two groups by which plants can be classified, and these are shade plants and sun plants,” explained Ellis, during a recent interview with Outlook.

“As the name refers to shade, these plants aren’t such a fan of the sunny climates, so these plants are dormant in the sunny periods of summer and later bloom in the cool temperatures of winter,” said Ellis, noting that sun plants are not able to withstand cold winter climates.

The hot summer times are better for them, he said. Ellis identified several different plant species. Among them are vinca, ixora, plumbago, desert rose, bridal bouquet, bougainvillea.

“I consider the planting and selling of plants to be very vital. A compound without plants [is empty]. Blooms add the finishing touches to any property.”

Ellis later gave a few words of encouragement to persons interested in the planting of flowers for sale, “Flower planting is not as hard as it may sound. It is very fun and enjoyable. It helps one to meditate and to see the wonderful works of God and His creation.” He warned that individuals who are interested must be properly educated in the field of planting, if not, first seek to be educated to prevent the loss of money intended to grow the business.

Next to Nature Plant and Pets Limited was opened in December 2000. The company was first located in the Papine Arcade with a few persons, under the control of Desmond Ellis, the founder and owner.

Ellis mentioned that he got his inspiration from his valued customers after he began to showcase one of his many talents in the art of making fish ponds. He boasted that he was the person to contact when it came to the creation and maintenance of ponds. His customers were impressed by the way he lined the ponds with beautiful flowers. He expressed gratitude for the inspiration and encouragement to grow from his long-standing customers.

After a few years in Papine, Ellis relocated to 98 Old Hope Road, where he operated for two years, and then moved to 100A Old Hope Road where he can be found today.

He also specialises in the grooming of animals, and also sells animal feed. He sweetens the deal by also providing an animal day care.

Ellis has a special kind of love and passion for animals and plants. He has realised his ultimate dream in life – to own his own plant and animal store. Now, it is easy for customers to purchase a lovely plant and have their animal or animals groomed.