WHAT WE LOVE: Grand architectural details frame this breathtakingly beautiful botanical haven, filled with plants and blooms, that spill out onto to the granite steps.
WHO: Connemara native landscape gardener and horticulturist Mark Grehan.
WHERE: The majestic foyer of Dublin’s Georgian Powerscourt Townhouse.
Observing cowslips growing amongst the hedgerow on a country walk inspires Mark Grehan’s approach to floristry and landscaping. Mark, a Connemara native from a family of keen gardeners, knew he wanted his own shop after working at a nursery that also had a retail unit. He loved the interaction between growing and making, and meeting the customers. After studying horticulture and landscape design he spent seven years working in different positions at a garden center and then established his own landscaping company in 2006. Exploring additional opportunities during the recession Mark set up a flower stall in Coppinger Row. People loved his style; flowers in buckets. He knew he had a winning formula, so Mark drew up a business plan and pitched his concept to Powerscourt Townhouse to transform the foyer into a flower shop; The Garden opened in 2010.
Why did you chose the name, “The Garden”? As the foyer where the shop is placed in the town house is the old garden room, The Garden felt right especially how the display falls out on to the steps.
What are The Garden’s signature products? Flower bouquets, editoral work and good quality plants. Aspragus fern, The Garden bouquet, with Memory lane roses, Autumnal Wreaths, Mini bouquets wrapped in brown kraft paper, and Saiupa Soap Cactus.
What makes The Garden so unique? Unlike other flower shops you’ll not find the same flowers each week we change with seasons and offer good quality plants and good service always.
Who are your customers? Being in the heart of Dublin we have a variety of customers, from young to old.
How has the internet impacted your business? In a postive way, making it possible to delivery our products country wide and offer our products online.
Mark Grehan, shopkeeper at The Garden
Who inspires you? Sarah Ryhanen.
What inspires you? Landscapes at home in Connemara and art galleries.
Before I was a shopkeeper, I…. worked in horticulture and landscape design and was plant manger at Garden works, Malahide.
Why did you open The Garden? It was always something I wanted from a young age.
Did you have prior retail experience? Yes I worked in grocery store for years while in college and then in the garden centre.
Your favorite thing about owning an independent shop? Meeting the customers and opening the store each day. Creating moments and beautiful flowers for customers to have.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Do something different. There is no point opening something similar to what’s there all ready. Stay true to your vision and don’t forget about taxes, rates, rent and bills! Baby steps, if it’s not perfect, so build it up as you go along.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be..? A landscape architect.
What are your favorite local independent businesses? Indigo & Cloth, Scout Design store, Hens Teeth, Daddies, Stable of Ireland, Flatiron, Marlowe & Co, and Momuse.
What are your favorite shops? Petersham Nurseries, London; Astier de Villatte, rue Saint Honoré, Paris; Ernies Grocery, 6 Sea Rd, Galway; Miss Pickering, Stamford, U.K. and Roman and Williams Guild, New York.
I wish I could… Open a ‘The Garden’ shop in New York.
ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
We need to become way more environmentally friendly and a lot more then just our packaging. Create experiences within the store to enhance customers visits. Get back to more traditional retail experiences such as knowing your customer by name whilst also building a good relationship.
Powerscourt Townhouse, South William Street, Dublin