Hortihop Local Partner Shop
Living With Green
Vanessa & Brian, co-founders
Manhattan's Upper East Side
Name & Name
Who We Are
Vanessa and Brian, a married couple and the founders of Living with Green. Living with Green is a custom plant shop on the Upper East Side that specializes in tropical and arid plants, as well as a collection of specialty plants for collectors. The business was a passion project that started in a 2x5-foot greenhouse in our UES apartment. It quickly became bigger than the space, so we took the jump and opened the store in March 2021.
What Inspires Us
As avid plant collectors ourselves, we saw that there was a need for a plant-focused shop in our neighborhood. We were constantly leaving the neighborhood to Brooklyn or the flower district to find specific varieties or even certain plant care products to keep our plant babies happy. We started with local delivery and plant care out of our home but decided to bring the full experience to the neighborhood.
A Typical Workday
Most of our mornings start at the greenhouses out in Long Island where our wholesale growers are. We prefer to handpick each and every plant in the store to ensure we are sharing with the community plants in the best shape. We pack everything into our SUV and unload and spray down everything before the shop opens. During store hours we spend the day helping people pick out plants that are ideal for their space as well as repotting plants when in the growing season. We also check on any plants that need watering or a prune, all while admiring the insanely unique and gorgeous foliage around us.
Favorite Plant-Related Memory
So many! However, one of our favorites was the first time we went to one of our wholesale greenhouses together. We knew the magnitude of the greenhouses, but seeing all kinds of juvenile and mature plants growing in these optimal spaces was very surreal. A close second would be the first time we went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and just admired so many of the plants we loved in their natural habitats. This same experience was replicated on some of our other adventures (Netherlands, Spain, Puerto Rico, San Diego, and more).
#1 Plant Tip
Don’t water on a schedule! Feeling the soil is key and learning how your plant indicates thirst will ensure you are not overwatering. Most people think that overwatering means giving your plants too much water all at once, but it is actually about the frequency of watering vs. the volume of water. Ensure the soil is allowed to dry a bit between watering, but then plump up the soil with a good shower or soaking as long as the plant has drainage holes.
Best Life Advice
Living life for yourself and not others. This business has come out of a desire for us to leave our previous careers (Vanessa a publicist, and Brian a private investigator). We wanted to do something that helped us give back in some way while sharing a passion of ours with our community. There were people along the way who had their doubts and tried to stray us away, but we constantly try and live by the motto of living for ourselves and building a life we want to live.
Favorite Neighborhood Spots
We have quite a few since we live here and have spent many milestones together on the UES (first home together, our engagement, etc.). The Penrose (burgers are fantastic) and Drunken Monkey (the best Indian food) are some of our favorites to eat out. For dessert, Anita Gelato can’t be missed, especially when it’s right down the block from the shop!