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Bringing The Outdoors In – Plants Offer Both Wellness and Artistry in a Home

Bringing The Outdoors In – Plants Offer Both Wellness and Artistry in a Home

Article by Brianna Melanson

Photography by Sarah Mackenzie Photography

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

Homes filled with lively plants is a sought after aesthetic that everyone can achieve thanks to the specialty indoor plant shop, Flora. Owner Kerbi Howat opened a second location in Franklin a year ago in December. Kerbi said, “I had been dreaming about opening a shop in Franklin ever since I opened the Nashville store, especially since we had people driving up from there.” She waited patiently and when the old gas and service station became available, she repurposed it into a botanical wonderland with mid-century modern elements. Now the large garage windows filter sunshine on lush green leaves and thoughtful gifts.

The pandemic initiated worry for the business, but since there was a surge of interest in plants during quarantine, their online shop with curbside and delivery options was a success. This year, Flora will be expanding their online platform and reintroducing their plant rentals and consultations. So if you need plants for a photo shoot or wedding, Flora is who to call. It’s a more sustainable and distinguished backdrop than your typical floral arrangements. As for consultations, Kerbi explains, “I can do virtual appointments or go into a space and basically design a whole layout of where plants are going to go according to the available light. Then we’ll install them and pot them.” These possibilities make it convenient for anyone to become a plant person.

Watching your plants grow every day is so rewarding. Whether you have a green thumb or not, the staff will guide you in how to make your plants thrive. For every plant, the customer gets walked through a detailed care card. Kerbi adds, “We have an open door policy so we’re always available for troubleshooting problems. Though we’re a boutique-style business, we want the space, prices, and plant care to be approachable for everyone.” It’s a welcoming and magical experience, unlike what one would get at a big-box gardening center.

Their gorgeous houseplants come from Florida and some local growers. All of their unique planters are curated from small businesses throughout the U.S., one of Kerbi’s favorites being Convivial in Kansas City. If you buy a planter to go with your plant, the staff happily pots the plant for you with fresh soil as a complementary service.

When purchasing a plant this winter, opt for low-key plants such as snake plants and pothos. We’re in the dormant season when plants don’t do much growing and can be finicky in the colder months. Kerbi suggests, “Stay away from ficus trees like the fiddle leaf fig that’s so popular. I would wait until spring to buy something like that.” We can only imagine how wonderful Kerbi’s own plant collection looks. However, she jokes that the hanging plants look the best nowadays with her two little boys loving to play with the dirt and leaves.

Franklin is delighted to have Flora in the neighborhood. Next time you’re near the former gas station, pop in for a stroll through the lush greenery to find a plant that feels like home.