An Airdrie plant shop is offering free plant-cuttings to novice and experienced horticulturalists this summer as part of its take-a-plant, leave-a-plant concept wall.
Ang Lutz, the owner of Sweet joan.co, said the idea had been percolating in her mind for some time, but it wasn’t until this year she was finally able to make it happen. She opened up her tropical plant shop in Kings Heights last March, and before long, her plant obsession had blossomed into a viable business.
The plant-cutting wall has become a key feature of her shop, with regulars coming in each week to check out its offerings. She said the wall is all about sharing and giving back to the community, particularly for plant enthusiasts and green thumbs.
“Everybody propagates their own plants,” Lutz said of the plant community. “So I thought, what a great way to get people into our shop and get people growing plants.”
Lutz said she does something similar with her friends and family on a regular basis, and has done so for years.
“I thought how cool would that be, to incorporate that into the shop,” she said. “Especially with the times and everything, I just thought it would be a really happy way to give back to everybody in the community.”
Those interested in participating in the plant swap are free to bring a plant clipping of their choice to donate to the wall and take one in return. But Lutz added people don’t have to necessarily contribute a plant in order to take one. She encourages all first-time planters to come into the shop, chat about plants and then take a plant clipping home with them.
She said the wall is also a great opportunity for beginners to determine if they have a green thumb or not, at no cost.
“I’m also a big fan of young kids [planting],” she said. “I’m kind of an enabler that way, so if they see something they like, I'll literally pot it up for them and give it to them.
“I had a little girl come in and she bought her own plant, named it and took it home, she tucked it in, and gave it rain sounds,” she added. “It was the most heartwarming thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
According to Lutz, during the COVID-19 pandemic, people are spending more time at home and in their gardens than ever before. With this in mind, she said she wanted to give back to them in her own special way.
She added that growing plants is an activity that “brings immense joy” to those participating in it and can be an easy distraction from everyday stresses.
“It’s bad because it’s a gateway to plant parenthood, after you start propagating, you just see how easy and rewarding it is and it is so good for your mental health,” she said. “Seeing results and watching the roots grow and having a sense of accomplishment that you grew something – I think it makes people want to do it more and more.
“I know that’s true for myself.”
Follow me on Twitter @carmenrcundy