I was intrigued when my friend Kristel posted a pic with lush flowers and greens, while mentioning how the prices were a fraction of a nearby Makati market, so I practically begged her to take me. I feel so lucky, that she s generously took me and Shuba to this plantmama heaven in Cubao. It was funny because both Shuba and I were celebrating our birthdays, by buying ourselves some plant babies. What can I say, plants really make us happy. This plant heaven is called Farmers Garden, in Cubao Quezon City. We left Makati at 9:30am and were surprised that it only took us 30minutes. Though I would caution that might not be the case during the BER months. In the Philippines, Christmas officially begins when the -BER months start or SeptemBER. It’s quite long, I know. As my friend Joey told me recently, it’s our third season: dry season, rainy season and Christmas! During these months shopping and festivities kick into high gear, and the traffic increases exponentially as well.
When you arrive you will first see the Flower Market for cut flowers, but when you cross that row, you will find a long avenue of stores for live plants, with pretty capiz lights crisscrossing it. Plantmama heaven! There is parking on the side. I loved how clean, safe and well kept it was! They have everything: orchids, herbs, succulents, cacti and even some cool rare looking plants. I had low expectations and I just wanted to get a few succulents to test and white pots.
SUCCULENTS & CACTI
I only wanted to try some cheap small succulents (most of them were only 20-30pesos each) to see which would survive my home – we all have different situations so best to ask the storekeepers – who know their plants well – if the plant will survive your home set up i.e. afternoon light, no direct sunlight, balcony, no balcony, etc. The cacti had different prices, and the ones with the colored tops are a bit more expensive, 250 pesoe each, if I recall correctly.
I love that you can see kuya’s (big bro’s) tsinelas in the picture haha. Tsinelas is Tagalog for house slippers.
I got one orchid from the store in the second photo below, and it was 250 pesos. I am happy to say that the flowers only started falling off this week. It is currently 15 October, and we went to the Farmers Garden in 6 September. I’m so pleased.
I got two of these airplants in aluminum wire-wrapped planters. This is a very good material because it wont tarnish or rust, unlike the other metal planters, which oxidize and peel. I don’t need the additional toxic metal dust in my home. The glass planters are nice as well, if you have a secure place to hang it. We have been spraying the plant every other day, and it’s still alive! The air plants I have purchased in the past usually die, and I thought it was because of our air conditioner, but so far these plants are happy and alive.
Doesn’t this look like something out of the movie Avatar?
I loved how they reused electricfan grills as planters for the air plants.
POTS & SOIL
Make sure to tell them what kind of plants you will be using the soil for, because soil for succulents/cacti are different. I got that little cutie for about 60 pesos with the pot.
STRANGE & WONDERFUL PLANTS
Before we left I saw this small plants. They are only 3 for 100 pesoe, but I had already bought what I needed, and as a decluttering professional, I decided to stick to my list. I’m very proud of this, because it is tempting to go overboard. However I don’t have a balcony here in Manila, so my space is limited.
If you buy the pots separately, you can ask the person selling the plants, if they can repot them for you. If you ask nicely and are not in a hurry, they will do an amazing job, like below.
The area was very safe and we even left our purchases by a tree – outlet loot kept growing – and when we were done, my friend’s driver passed by with the car, and we loaded everything up. So convenient.
As a Decluttering Concierge promoting the MINIMALUXE lifestyle, I can say that it’s better to have less things, more plants! Plants are calming and really change the atmosphere and mood of your space. As a full time working mom, I feel lucky I have helpers at home, that help me take care of my plant babies. This is one of the luxuries we have living in Manila. Help is still affordable here.
The small plants are doing well. Except for the string of pearls. We were overwatering everything at first, and by the time I realized it, it was too late for the string of pearls. Must keep this in mind when I get another one. And I will try again next time! It’s always trial and error with plants. You will kill a lot of plants until you discover what’s best. Just like I did in Berlin. For succulents, they have to completely dry out, before you water them again. You can press your hands to the soil to check.
The air plants hang by my bookshelves. We remove them, and take them to the kitchen to spray them with water, every other day, as instructed by the vendor. They are still alive!
The orchid’s flowers are pale green – so pale, they are almost white. Aren’t the small white pots below it so scandi-chic?
TIPS IF YOU PLAN TO GO
- Put on sunblock before you go.
- I recommend you go with a car, especially if you will be buying a lot.
- Be sure to bring newspapers to line your car boot, so that it doesn’t get too dirty.
- Also if you would like to avoid using plastic, bring sturdy reusable bags. I like the ones I used from HonestBee, because they are sturdy.
- Make a list of what you are looking for, so you are not overwhelmed or go overboard.
- It’s cash basis only. So be sure to bring enough.
- Don’t buy immediately, inquire about prices first in the different stores, then decide where you want to buy, once you have an idea of the different prices.
- Always ask about maintenance of the plants, so that you can take care of them properly.
- If you see some blue stuff on the plants, that’s pesticide. Personally, I didn’t get those, because I have a toddler and a dog. But even without, I assume that those succulents are harder to care for because they probably attract pests more, so I would avoid.
I found this interesting read about Farmers Garden which has a more expert opinion on plants. Definitely worth the read if you are going.