Rachael Tiong, Founder of Jack's Garden
Plant Parents of Southeast Asia: Rachael Tiong, Jack's Garden
Plant Parents of Southeast Asia is an initiative dedicated to celebrating the greener side of life in every plant parent's journey. Because behind every plant parent, is a story of growth. Know an inspiring plant parent in Southeast Asia? Nominate a plant parent here.
What does this photo mean to you?
RT: This is a photo of my Dad, Jackson and his favourite pastime (basically spending time with the plants). It reminds me of how strong we can be when circumstances change and it encourages me/us to work harder. Well, our motto is that the harder we work, the luckier we get. Thank goodness, we have been pretty lucky so far.
Tell us what inspired you to start and continue caring for plants
RT: My Dad was retrenched and after much deliberation, we decided to start Jack's Garden. It started as my Dad's favourite weekend past time and now he wakes up enjoying every moment he has with his clients and just spending time in his garden space. Our idea is to add a personal touch to anybody's garden. Whenever we meet plant parents, we share with them what we have learnt in the past 1.5 years and in exchange they share information and ideas with us. We love these interactions/sharing sessions and it keeps us going. There are so many plant varieties and many different aspects that we can read into - it's been interesting and amazing.
Tell us about your most memorable plant story
RT: All our first occurrences have been memorable - our first sale, first corporate project, first office maintenance engagement, first home garden maintenance project. I'm sure you get it. Oh another one for the memories, one moment we were celebrating our first finger lime plant that bore 7-8 fruits on it and the next day the plant started to show signs of withering and well eventually it did not survive. It was pretty while it lasted! Ha!
Referring to the interactions and sharing sessions we have with plant parents we meet during our course of running Jack's Garden, whenever we share plant care tips with them they are always so amazed and excited. The typical duration for a scheduled plant delivery is just a couple of minutes but usually take us between 30-60 minutes! No complaints, we enjoy them. :) From these conversations, we also foster a special relationship/friendship with our clients turned friends. We are people-oriented and these experiences with each family/individuals are simply fulfilling. Every occurrence has a unique story to tell.
What's a misconception about plant parenthood?
RT: "They are easy to care for." Plants respond to environments and every plant requires a different level of care and attention. It takes time to understand each one of them and we are happy to go through that learning process to guide plant parents that we meet.
How has plant parenthood changed you?
RT: I appreciate every part of building Jack's Garden. I enjoy working and caring for the plants we have alongside my Dad. His love for gardening and plants have injected life into the plants I see - it's like a new revelation of plant life. I have the privilege of supporting my Dad in what he loves and enjoys doing and I am glad to walk the journey with him. I come home to an urban jungle and I now make it a point to take a good look at every plant we have- this gives a moment to myself to relax and appreciate the greens.