Fords’ plant parenting becomes growing business
Nothing is more refreshing than escaping the city to take in the cool and clean country air. On one particular road trip, I saw the most beautiful flowers on the side of the road. And the budding plant lover in me stopped to find out more about these growing gems. It was there that I met Annette Ford. She soon introduced us to her husband, business partner and co-plant parent, Hugh.
The warm and pleasant couple was equally excited about their passion project and extended an invitation to their plant nursery. And it is certainly true what they say about first impressions lasting a lifetime because this was love at first sight.
The oasis of greenery was enchanting by nature and possessed a whimsical charm that would convert just about anyone.
“I was doing farming first, but it wasn’t working out,” Hugh told Saturday Living, adding, “I had some plants, and Annette had some too. So we came together. This started out as a hobby and quickly grew into a business.” The nursery is now home to a wide variety of gorgeous and exotic flowers and plants.
Hugh shared that he was formally introduced to plants at a young age, but when he began catering, he found that floral arrangements were the true show stoppers. Persons would request plants to rent, so he would be obliged to fulfil the demand. He started with palms and soon added them to his collection. This serendipitous discovery is what gave birth to a new and exciting interest.
There are succulents, fruit trees, ornamentals, and so much more. We took a tour of palms and even went to the rose field. Name any plant you can think of. The Fords not only have it, but they can also share an interesting story about it. Watching the two synergies fuse and work in harmony on this unexpected plant tour became increasingly delightful by the minute. It’s a duet worth experiencing.
Annette is no stranger to plants. She plays an integral part in the process, having been a plant lover for as long as she can remember. When her husband decided to venture into this growing process, she wholeheartedly supported his vision, breaking down the history of a plant through storytelling while Hugh chimes in with the scientific names and facts.
Since Hafe Plant & Nursery launched three years ago, the business, according to the plant dad, has been fairly good, presenting ups and downs along the way. “There’s the drought, so nothing is going on now. And there’s always a water problem here in the south, but God is good. The main is there, so we get water sometimes. And there’s water harvesting,” he shared.
Admitting to having no favourites, he shared, “A plant come in like a woman; each unique in its own way.” So, there’s no such thing as a bad plant in Hugh’s books. The entrepreneur did, however, make mention of the rabbit foot ferns in his care and the rare and exotic staghorn fern, which is all of 30 years old. “No, this one is not for sale,” he confessed with a laugh.
When asked what he hopes to achieve with his business, he said, “This is my pension, really.”
So if you’re ever in Nain, St Elizabeth, stop by the plants on the side of the road and take in the breathtaking scenery. Be sure to grab a photo or two by the exquisite arch and purchase a plant as memorabilia.