Growing flowers from hobby to a lucrative business

Jyotshana Gurung’s nursery today has over 60 varieties of flowers, some rare and exotic, making her a connoisseur in the field

With the onset of the spring season, local florists are gearing up with their gardening tools to once again prepare their nurseries for planting the next batch of exotic flowers and plants, which has found a market among growing flower lovers and enthusiasts in the capital city.

Ever since His Majesty The King launched the annual flower exhibition, decorating homes and offices with exotic flowers is fast picking up as a trend among the residents, providing a lucrative business avenue for the local florists in the city, whose initial hobby has become a steady source of income for them today.

One such enthusiast is Jyotshana Gurung, 56, whose love affair with flower began back in 1981. For the last four decades she has dedicated herself to understanding flowers, often spending hours on end tending flowers, which ultimately earned her the nickname ‘Green Thumb’.

Such encouragements from friends and family inspired her to become a professional florist, but the mother of four had a difficult decision before her.

“I had to quit my job as a civil servant to pursue my dream and I did,” she said, “But I don’t regret my decision.”

She remembers by the time she resigned and moved from Wamrong in Trashigang to Thimphu, she had to hire two trucks just to carry her huge collection of flowers. Thirteen years have gone by and today her nursery proudly boasts of over 60 varieties of flowers, some rare and exotic, making her a connoisseur in the field.

Today, there are many avid flower collectors in Thimphu, often evident from the great collection they put up in their apartment balconies, or in their well tended gardens, making this a lucrative venture, with some even going online on social media to market their collection.

This has further encouraged other flower enthusiasts to join the bandwagon, taking the total number of flower nurseries in the capital to little over ten. However, maintaining a nursery is a delicate job, requiring years of experience.  “It’s akin to raising young children,” said Jyotshana Gurung.

Today she spends most of her time in her nursery, taking care of the young saplings, tending to the blooming ones, and watering it regularly. Besides earning Nu 60,000 monthly from her venture, she says it’s fulfilling spiritually when you are surrounded by so many colorful flowers.   

She has also participated in national events and flower exhibition, where she has been awarded certificates for her collection. He flowers are in demand, with her clients including high-end hotels and big offices, which place regular orders at her shop.

Elaborate marriages and birthday bashes, which have become very fashionable among the elites of Thimphu, have also kept the demand steady.

“People have become conscious about beautifying their homes and what better way than to adorn it with flowers,” she added.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu