Plant-based soft decorations designed by Hu Wenlan and her team are pictured in Hefei, east China's Anhui Province, Jan. 14, 2023.(Xinhua/Zhao Jinzheng)
HEFEI, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Holding a plastic water pipe, Liu Yi walked into a spacious greenhouse and watered over 1,000 pots of meticulously arranged flowers.
"Many people send their plants here for better care. We classify and place them according to their characteristics and ensure they get proper water, sunshine and fertilizer, so each plant can grow well," said Liu, who works as a floral maintenance worker in Hefei City, capital of east China's Anhui Province.
As Chinese people pursue a higher quality of life, the flower consumption market is becoming increasingly popular and more people are growing diversified plants at home. This has boosted the demand for "flower-sitters" who can provide maintenance services for plants.
"Taking care of flowers needs professional knowledge, the 'flower-sitters' can help people to tend plants more professionally and solve problems. People can contact us via our mobile app for guidance or send the plants directly to us," said Liu Weimin, chairman of Hefei Meidi Horticulture Co., Ltd., who established a "flower-sitter" team in 2022.
Xiong Anling, 36, who has been cultivating flowers at home for many years, said that her Chinese roses were on the brink of withering due to inadequate care. However, with precise pruning guided by online experts, they were ultimately revived.
"In addition to gaining horticultural knowledge about pests, diseases and fertilization, we also need to have a good understanding of plants, including some new varieties, for accurate diagnosis and maintenance," Liu said, adding that the continuous upgrading of the flower market and the emergence of new flower varieties require them to keep learning and constantly optimize their services.
Some "flower-sitters" like Hu Wenlan are also capable of offering personalized decorative design solutions themed on green plants for floral or plant enthusiasts. Lately, Hu has been occupied with creating plant-based soft decorations tailored to the unique interior design styles of her clients' homes.
Before the start of the renovation, Hu and her team would have a thorough discussion with the customers and understand their needs. Then, they integrate various aspects of the house, such as lighting, furniture style and indoor space, with the inclusion of plants. This entire process usually takes two or three days.
"Every client has their own unique way of perceiving things. The middle-aged and the elderly prefer the artistic touch brought by the design, while younger people appreciate the story behind the decoration," Hu explained.
Since the beginning of this year, Hu and her team have completed the transformation of nearly a hundred balconies and courtyards.
"It feels so good to add more green and beauty to the lives of our customers," Hu said. ■