'You won't have seen anything like it in Edinburgh' - Scottish nature enthusiast set to open tropical plant shop near The Meadows

A nature enthusiast from Edinburgh said he is “going big and going bold” with a new plant shop that he’s opening in the Capital's centre.

By Katharine Hay
Thursday, 1st October 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st October 2020, 5:11 pm

Andrew Forbes is currently carrying out a plant takeover in 137 Buccleuch Street, which will soon become Green Meadows.

The 25-year-old is transforming the derelict property into a tropical paradise where he will sell plants from all over the world.

"I am going big, and I am going bold with this idea,” he said, still sounding excited by his fledgling business.

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137 Buccleuch Street which is soon to become Green Meadows and Andrew Forbes (R) standing inside the property

"You won't have seen anything like it in Edinburgh, the place is going to have a unique look to it.”

Tired of working for others and determined to set up his own, sustainable business, Andrew started renting the property in August this year.

From upside down plant pots to carefully crafted African baskets, the nature lover has been busy ordering all sorts to turn the dreich room into his own, tropical haven with a story behind every plant pot.

"Every item we sell in this shop has a link to a company or person who is doing something good environmentally, or socially,” he smiled, as he talked about some of his suppliers.

"One of my favourites is called the Basket Room which sells colourful, handwoven African sisal baskets made by women's co-operatives in a range of African countries.

"They are beautiful and the money goes to a good cause.

"Another great one is BOSKKE, a company which makes upside down hanging baskets made from its own plastic waste which I think is terrific.”

For every plant purchased, no matter how big or small, Andrew said 25p will go to Trees for Life, a charity working to rewild the Scottish Highlands.

When asked about what drove him to set up a plant business while the country is in lockdown turmoil he said: “I have always loved plants, nature, and sustainable projects that help people and the environment, so I thought why not set something like this up now that will do a bit of good.”

The young businessman will also be getting stuck in, hand crafting material plant pots himself made out of discarded clothing from the Shrub Co-op in Lothian Road – an organisation pushing for a world without waste – to sell in the shop.

"Most of what we sell is linked to a positive environmental and social cause, but some of it is also just really pretty,' he added.

"It will be a jungle for people to come and explore.”

With two extra staff on board, Andrew said he and his plant-loving team will be set to open by the end of October if all goes to plan.

"I am just so excited to get people coming in and seeing what I make of the place. It’s a unique and interesting look that I am going for and it will be filled with interesting things to tell people about. Also lots of plants, which people love.”

Some of the suppliers for Green Meadows include Basket Room, BOSKKE, Potr, Pimp Up Your Plants, Lubech Living and Muurla.

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