From Gardener To Online Gardener

From Gardener To Online Gardener

Having always held a keen interest in gardening, Kris Stowe is delighted to have finally fulfilled his ambition of establishing his own business within the horticultural domain. With the help of his partner Alex, Kris has created an online haven for green-fingered enthusiasts worldwide. It is a gardening website that provides horticultural lovers with a variety of services, including the opportunity to pool advice and information through an interactive forum, compose articles for publication on the website and research local gardening services and facilities. The site also provides a database of gardening centers across the UK, hosts weekly and monthly competitions and allows visitors to purchase a wide range of products including gift sets, garden ornaments and, of course, flower bulbs and gardening tools.

The seeds of Kris’ horticultural passion were first sown when, as a child, he was allocated a small area of his grandparents’ garden to tend. His enthusiasm for gardening continued to blossom throughout his adult life, and Kris’ horticultural abilities have since been rewarded with numerous prestigious gardening awards, including first prize in the regional Cheltenham In Bloom Competition in the summer of 2002. The Royal Horticultural Society has also recognised Kris’ gardening potential, and in 2005 bestowed his garden with coveted NGS status as part of its annual National Garden Scheme.

Kris’ horticultural dreams were finally beginning to come true. However, in February 2007, shortly after being honoured with the title of Daily Mail Plantsman of the Year, Kris was diagnosed with advanced HIV. Though initially he attempted to continue his job as manager of a Gloucestershire garden centre, sheer exhaustion triggered by his illness forced Kris to resign from his much-loved profession. It was at this time that Kris began to ponder numerous entrepreneurial strategies which would allow him to combine his horticultural passion and expertise, whilst simultaneously providing necessary income and not causing any adverse effects to his illness. Over several months of recuperation Kris eventually decided upon establishing an online gardeners’ website where people could share their horticultural experiences and knowledge: Gardening Unplugged had been born.

The original intention of the site was to create a horticultural haven where gardeners could share their information and advice by the use of a forum and chat room, whilst also offering users the opportunity to write their own articles to be published on the site. The website brings together some of the key elements of horticulture, and includes practical information displaying services offered to gardeners by local councils and organizations, and a database of garden centers across the UK. Since its founding in 2006 the site has evolved dramatically, with weekly quizzes, monthly competitions, a gardens- to-visit database, shopping section, book reviews and much more.

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