Gardening Galore; A Likoni Entity Gardening Its Way To A Healthier Ecosystem.

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When was the last time you saw trees like mikungu and mikode, that we grew up enjoying their shades and fruits at the Coast? They have certainly disappeared over time. Those two tree species recently caught my eye while in Likoni visiting some friends’ tree rearing initiative, Gardening Galore. It is an entity founded and led by Ken and Sheila Ngombo, a couple. In a world facing serious environmental challenges, the role of such initiatives in promoting sustainability cannot be overstated. Gardening and landscaping, which was traditionally associated with beautifying outdoor spaces, is increasingly becoming integral in environmental conservation efforts. Native plants play a crucial role in supporting local ecosystems as they are adapted to the specific climate, soil conditions, and pests of a region.

Initiatives like Gardening Galore can educate clients about the importance of incorporating native plants in their landscapes, promoting a healthier and more sustainable environment. And this is exactly what they intend to grow into, a place where people can learn about tree species, gardening and conservation efforts. Beyond their direct impact on the environment (they use compost from a garbage dumping area in the neighborhood), Gardening Galore is looking to educate and engage the community in environmental conservation efforts. Offering workshops, seminars, and educational materials. Presently, they empower their day-to-day clients who purchase seedlings and pots by helping them make informed decisions that align with sustainable practices.

While visiting their premises, I met 4 young men busy with what are their daily activities at Gardening Galore. Two were preparing mango seeds for planting. One was packing compost into plastic containers (they collect plastic waste, around 7000 plastic containers/packaging materials from the neighborhood every month) that they use to grow seedlings. The other was watering and tending to grown seedlings. There is another one who mans their retail post by the roadside in Likoni and yet another at their outlet in Kombani. This is a critical part of the initiative, creating employment opportunities. Gardening Galore has given the young men an income earning opportunity, that they previously did not have. Talking to them on what the initiative means to them, they all shared it is fulfilling to be involved in something important to the neighbourhood and community.

All Gardening Galore outlets and seedling selling points stand out. Lush green spaces amidst the urbanity. Strategic placement of trees, shrubs, and green spaces can help cool urban areas by providing shade and reducing surface temperatures. By actively engaging in projects that combat the urban heat island effect, gardening initiatives like Gardening Galore contribute to creating more comfortable and environmentally friendly cities. Another key contribution of gardening and landscaping businesses to environmental conservation lies in their role in preserving biodiversity. By choosing native plant species and creating habitats that attract various fauna, these businesses directly contribute to the preservation of local biodiversity.

Trees and plants are also natural carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and storing carbon in their biomass. Gardening and landscaping initiatives play a pivotal role in increasing green cover, thereby enhancing carbon sequestration. By strategically planting trees and promoting green spaces, these initiatives contribute to offsetting carbon emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change. Gardening Galore therefore stands tall as a much needed intervention at a time we are grappling with the climate change problem.

Mr. Ken Ngombo, co-founder of Gardening Galore, as a final take urged corporates to take up CSR initiatives around tree-planting. Such entities have the capacity and visibility to galvanize tree-planting efforts at a consistent level. Gardening Galore is willing to guide and partner with any such initiatives.

You wish to engage Gardening Galore? You can reach them on +254723205966.

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