• Friday, July 12, 2024
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Gardening in the hub to applause and visitors at Magboro

Gardening in the hub to applause and visitors at Magboro

Omolabake Bode Matthew’s Vie Garden Hub validates the assertion that raising a child the way she should grow could be beneficial in adulthood. Mrs Bode Matthews runs a garden that increasingly draws nature lovers in Lagos to her location in Ogun State.

Omolabake confesses that “I have always been a gardener at heart”. Her grandmother sowed the seeds by regularly taking Omolabake, the child, to her garden.

Life and growth happened. People often abandon practices during childhood. However, seeds planted early in life become cactuses that bloom even in rugged terrain.

“I didn’t start gardening as an adult until 2017”, she states, almost like a confession. Following a week of ill-health, she braced herself one day and rediscovered her love for gardening. “I thought I had procrastinated about owning a garden until I got married and got busy. This is the time. I entered the back of my house, gathered some old pots, and started gardening”.

Omolabake stated. “I love fresh herbs and vegetables; it is a habit I got from my grandma, and I will go ahead and share a back story with you. At 8, I became the youngest unofficial member of the Decor Team in Glory Tabernacle- the church where I was raised. The team was responsible for beautifying the church using horticulture and landscaping. Older members took me under their wings and nurtured me, often giving me plants and seedlings to take home. My maternal grandma of blessed memory was an avid gardener. I was always a willing and excited garden helper, and she let me. I’d like to believe I inherited my gardening genes/traits from her. When we were the only ones living in the house at Orita-Challenge, she planted a garden behind my mum’s kitchen. We had it for years; we grew lime basil, efirin, peppers, snake gourd, and vegetables like shoko, tete, gbure, igbó, igbá, ewedu, okro, etc.

“My dad eventually moved the garden to the back by the well when the rest of the house became occupied by tenants. He planted bananas, plantains, an orange tree, and a tangerine tree. But those trees grew the worst citruses I’ve ever tasted; they were no good. I became a member of the Naija Gardening group later.

“Although I got married in a garden and love being around nature, I didn’t grow anything in my adult years until June 2017. I was ill for about a week, but I suddenly got up and decided to start planting again. The next day, I bought my first set of plants, which set me on the journey that has brought me thus far: Vie Garden Hub.”

Vie Garden Hub has become a luxuriant garden of greens. It is a true blooming blossom of nature’s confetti. Its location behind The Punch Place at Magboro, Ogun State, off the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, makes it a beacon for people seeking an escape and a mini-holiday. Nature is an inviting escape!

Vie Garden Hub has become an events place for such seekers. “I have had a couple of events that the garden put together. Some of those events were to spread the word about us and let people know what we do. People had a beautiful experience at every event that we had.

“One of our first events last year was a potluck exclusively for women. We asked them to wear specific colours of outfits and to match their food and décor to those colours.”

Omolabake’s Vie Garden Hub has continued the tradition of themed events and parties. “We had an Amala party in January against the backdrop of nature.” They have had a Sip and Bake event, Painted Pottery, and similar events, all featuring hearty conversations and laughter.

Omolabake’s self-description: “I am a foodie, an entrepreneur, and a gardener.” The foodie part of her life played out entirely when she ran the website ounjealadunView.com. “After joining the Facebook group SYTYCC (So You Think You Can Cook), I started journaling my food adventures. Then, I created my food page and was encouraged to start a blog about my recipes. That’s how ounjealadunView.com came about in 2015.”

Then, Vie Garden Hub “was created to attract garden and non-garden enthusiasts. We have created an ambience with nature where you can relax, hang out with friends in the cool outdoors, and observe pollinators like butterflies, bees, and birds do their work with nature. For garden enthusiasts, you can shop for a wide array of ornamental, edible, herb plants and fruit trees while soaking in a beautiful ambience.”

Her word for first-timers is, “Expect to be in the midst of nature, see greenery, and feel a sense of peace away from the madness of Lagos.”

There is more. Omolabake recommends that everyone plant something in their homes. “Plants not only provide us with food, but they also produce the oxygen we breathe in. Plants need light air and good potting soil to grow, so to have an indoor kitchen, ensure you have a great source of natural light coming in or grow lights. Grow lights are gardening lights created to simulate the sound spectrum of light from the sun that the plant needs to succeed. Ensure you have nutrient-rich, well-draining soil and pots/containers with drainage holes for excess water to drain.”

 

Omolabake Bode Matthews studied Law. She also received entrepreneurship training at the Fate Foundation, Lagos. “I set up and run the garden centre Vie Garden Hub in 2022, where I’m the owner and lead gardener. Before that, I set up and ran the company Fontaine De Vie in 2013, where I was the owner and CEO of the food and beverage firm. Fontaine De Vie is a Healthy Beverage Option company domiciled in Lagos, Nigeria. I’ve run this business full-time since I resigned from legal practice in 2013.

“Every home deserves a green lung, so I encourage you to start a garden today, whether edible or ornamental.”