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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Audrey Flanders’ growth mindset

Dartmouth’s new tropical shop has its eyes on the green thumbs.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 9, 2019 at 3:52 PM

RACHEL MCGRATH
  • RAchel McGrath

A few days before Christmas, Audrey's Little Shop of Plants (104 Portland Street, the former home of Bodega Boutique)—a sweet spot for tropical plants and expert advice on keeping them alive—bloomed in downtown Dartmouth. It was a quiet arrival but the oasis, and its owner Audrey Flanders, are more than ready to get growing.

"I've been in horticulture my whole life," she says. "I worked in greenhouses, garden centres, landscaping." She also ran her own shop in Toronto, Stamen and Pistil Botanicals, before moving to Nova Scotia last spring where she honed a passion and expertise in tropicals. "When I was kid everyone had tropical plants and now it's coming back to that," says Flanders. She calls her boutique more of a plant spa than anything. That's because Audrey's Little Shop isn't just a place to find weird and wonderful greenery and planters—think aloes, snake plants, string of pearls and succulents—but a spot to rescue and renew the plants you already own. Flanders is happy to help customers diagnose and deal with issues their house plants are having, as well as transplant, prune or clean them.

"For me it's more about having a store for everyone. Plants are staged a lot in magazines and stuff, sometimes they're not viable, they don't grow that way," she says. "We take in plants from other stores and I don't even care as long as I can fix it."

RACHEL MCGRATH
  • RAchel McGrath

Aiming to sell beautiful things at affordable prices—and sow her expertise all through your indoor garden—Flanders is bringing in lots of hard-to-find tropicals, mixing up specialty soils and offering public classes in terrariums, moss ball planters and plant care.

She says while right now succulent and rainforest plants are having a highly-Instagrammable moment, peoples' love for them isn't a new thing, or trend that'll fade. That's why Audrey's Little Shop of Plants wants to help people pick plants that they can help thrive easily. "It has a lot to do with being able to watch something grow, having some kind of living thing near you. Everyone should be able to have beautiful things."

RACHEL MCGRATH
  • RAchel McGrath

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