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Gardening

There’s A Secret Garden Center In Mandaluyong And It’s Amazing

Hidden in between a car wash and apartments is a garden store that's filled with lush plants and whimsical furniture

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Photography: Toto Labrador

Along the stretch of Haig Street in Mandaluyong near Shaw Boulevard, you’ll spot a wall of plants right beside a non-descript carwash. The wall of greens along the quiet residential area gives the daily commuter a refreshing break from the concrete and heat in the area.


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This is PGD Botanique, the brainchild of Ferdie Villanueva (below), who’s been cultivating plants since he was a child, trading in his allowance to purchase asparagus ferns and palmeras. An acronym for “Pido’s Garden Design,” PGD Botanique features an array of indoor plants, landscaping services, garden accessories, and events styling.


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“It was expensive to maintain a farm,” says Ferdie, who travels back and forth to Cavite to take care of his plants. “You have to deal with truckloads of garden soil, hundreds of pots, and sacks of fertilizer. So, we started selling.”

A verdant surprise in the city


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Located amidst unassuming houses and old apartments, PGD has been open for over a year and has become a surprising sanctuary for patrons of the neighboring carwash (their reaction: “May ganito pala dito!”), walk-in clients, and schools and companies looking to decorate their parties with greens.


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It’s chock-full of options for any type of plant parent


“Our main product is the monstera—people talk about it a lot,” Ferdie says. The popular Monstera Deliciosa plant has become trendy over the last couple of years for its tropical appearance, hole-filled leaves and hardiness. “The first time I saw this plant, I thought, ‘ang ganda ng halaman na ito—parang drawing!’ A lot of people refer to it as architectural foliage.”

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The mini monsteras are an affordable P580 and make a great addition to small spaces—proving that even the tightest spot can be decorated with a plant. Regular sized monsteras go for P800, while PGD’s giants—the perfect plant for a garden facelift—go for as much as P5,000. Because of the monsteras ability to crawl and creep, Ferdie even designed a monstera stand that he can custom build to suit the curves and patterns of your own personal plant. “We wanted to imitate the silhouette of the monster as it grows.”

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Find unique furniture and décor amidst the greens


Apart from a wide variety of plants including cacti, calathea, philodendron, sanseveria and more, PGD also carries garden-inspired furniture swathed in European fabrics depicting outdoor themes. If you’ve ever dreamed of dressing up your home like a solarium, then these pieces will appeal to your aesthetic.

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Among the other items being sold are beautiful gardening supplies, Chinese-style birdcages, unique planters and pots, as well as various tabletop ornaments you might want to mix into your indoor or outdoor garden.


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Ferdie says that many people inquiring about plants confess to not having green thumbs. He tells people that caring for your greens need not be difficult, especially with indoor plants. “They should always be under-watered, only when you see the top becomes dry. The secret is to water them every other days up to four days in between.”

You can get loads of gardening (and decorating) ideas from this store

“Nowadays, there’s so much literature on plants that survive indoors. Choosing your plant is all a matter of what goes with your apartment and figuring out which part of your home you want your plant to go in. Ano ang maganda sa tabletop, bathroom, etc. Philodendrons are the hardiest plants for indoors.”

The benefits that plants have to offer are limitless—from them being absorbers of negative energy, to the meditative way watering your plants can become, to their decorative appeal. “These are sentient beings—they make me believe that everything alive possesses a spirit,” he says.

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The store’s staff is friendly and knowledgeable, ready to offer tips to burgeoning plant parents.

“There’s no such thing as: ‘I have no space for plants,’” adds Ferdie. PGD has used everything from ceiling space to little wall space to create vignettes of these beautiful creatures. So whether you’re working with a small corner of your condo or your parent’s old home, you can make more space for plants in your life.

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PGD Botanique is at 296 Haig Street, Mandaluyong City, mobile 0926-423-8200. Follow them on Instagram @pgdbotanique

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