‘Mama Bonsai’ blooms in a flower landscaping

Gardening

‘Mama Bonsai’ blooms in a flower landscaping


Prachi Shah prunes his desert rose flower on his farm in the Kongowea region of Mombasa in this photo taken on December 14, 2021. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

Summary

  • Plants have been a part of Ms. Shah’s life since she graduated from college. As a hobby, she created bonsai trees mainly for her own enjoyment.
  • Ornamental plants are one of nature’s finest offerings, helping to make life a pleasure.

If Prachi Shah were a flower on a farm, she would be a grafted desert rose. Growing and growing slowly, it increases in color and beauty and when fully grown, a natural wonder – magnificent with deceptively spectacularly colored flowers.

Why a desert rose, I ask. “Well that would describe, at fault, my journey as a landscaper working with ornamental plants,” says Ms. Shah of her Mombasa-based flower farm, Prachi Creations.

Established in 2009, the business includes beautifying and landscaping various sites, homes and offices using ornamental plants and, on a smaller scale, selling beautiful potted plants, mainly desert roses. grafted.

Plants have been a part of Ms. Shah’s life since she graduated from college. As a hobby, she created bonsai trees mainly for her own enjoyment.

“In 2008, I took part in an exhibition which became a springboard for my entrepreneurial journey. After the show, I started collecting a variety of native plants for bonsai beauties and over time moved into the field of landscaping, ”she explains. “The art of bonsai has taught me to be calm, persevering, patient with great attention to detail, qualities that have helped me become a successful entrepreneur. “

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Prachi Shah prunes his desert rose flower on his farm in the Kongowea region of Mombasa in this photo taken on December 14, 2021. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

A very “khatarnaak” (dangerous) woman who takes big risks and embarks on all that is adventurous and challenging, Ms. Shah has started to import, sell and cultivate ornamental plants from the international market. The response has been phenomenal, giving her business a tremendous boost.

“I chose to work with ornamental plants because they are charming. Desert roses, for example, are highly regarded due to their many color nuances and variety. One look at them and people fall in love, ”she said. “Also, not many people worked in landscaping using ornamental flowers.”

Ornamental plants are one of nature’s finest offerings, helping to make life a pleasure. These are visual delights intentionally planted for aesthetic appeal. With beauty as a pillar, ornamental plants fit perfectly into our outdoor and indoor spaces.

They add character to drab corners, soften harsh interiors, and flood our gardens with pops or bursts of color. In addition, they purify and perfume the air and attract wildlife. There is nothing more practical and comforting than an ornamental plant.

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Desert rose flowers grafted at the Prachi Shah farm in the Kongowea region of Mombasa in this photo taken on December 14, 2021. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

Eleven years later, Ms. Shah has established herself as both a bonsai artist and an ornamental landscape designer. His farm contains a treasure trove of fascinating and lively propagated bonsai, including ficus, acacia, baobab as well as local grafted and grafted roses.

“The oldest plant I have is a 23 year old baobab tree. As for the roses, I have a stock of over 50 grafted desert roses. Colors vary from pink, yellow, black, purple, orange, red and more, ”she says, adding that she has other types of ornamentals like Ixora plants that produce flowers. Star-shaped flower clusters that have extensive flowering power.

Ms. Shah imports her plants from India and Thailand, a very precarious process. You have to be very careful with the characteristics of the plants especially on how they behave during transit when importing. If a plant cannot survive without soil for a few days, importing it will be in vain.

It is with the same inspired dedication that she delivers and anchors plants in the soils of her clients. Fortunately, most of them are familiar with the rose.

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Desert rose flowers grafted at the Prachi Shah farm in the Kongowea region of Mombasa in this photo taken on December 14, 2021. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

“I have local and foreign clients who contact me via social networks and word of mouth. Some come to look for plants to brighten up their outdoor spaces, embellish their interior decorations – bedrooms or living rooms – or to give their balconies an exterior air. But one thing they have in common is that they are all plant lovers.

Ms. Shah, also known as Mama Bonsai, radiates pride in her work. Each job is an opportunity to meet new people and grow as an individual and a landscape designer. His accomplishments are a source of happiness and satisfaction.

The highlight of her 11-year career was when one of her bonsai plants was chosen as a gift to First Lady Margaret Kenyatta. A continuing highlight is the fact that she is the only one to import grafted desert roses. But there is more.

“Recently, I successfully undertook the restoration of a 35 year old Ficus and an evergreen Terminalia Mantaly that were uprooted and left to swing between life and death. Both were brought back to life after 110 days. In 180 days, they stood, covered in lush green leaves.

Because desert roses are great for landscaping, how do you get the most out of them? As the name suggests, a dry and hot environment is a joy for them. Therefore, place these eye-catching roses in full sun (preferably in a location where their beauty and splendor will be recognized) in sandy, stony soil mixed with compost.

Water sparingly so as not to overwhelm its life. If planted in a container, be sure to do so in a good potting mix and a well-drained container to allow excess water to drain away immediately.

To conclude, I ask Ms. Shah if flowers are like human beings. “Yes they are. Both need and thirst for the same things: love and care.


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Terri S. Tomasini