GardenShop – A History of a Love for Flowers


The story of GardenShop began because of one woman’s passion and love for flowers, gardens and plants.

Ronnie and Rhona Lubner are the founding shareholders of GardenShop. A young Rhona, whose passion for flowers and gardens bloomed from childhood, traveled alone to London at the age of 18, to study floristry with the famous Constance Spry. There, she fulfilled a life-long dream after spending a year at the Constance Spry Flower School.

Rhona then traveled back to South Africa and worked at various flower shops until she got married and started a family. While settling into family life, she continued to do flower arranging for charity events and friends, as well as imparting her passion to others by teaching floristry.

The Lubner’s ended up moving three times and in each instance the garden got bigger! Ronnie was always amused by Rhona’s obsession with plants and flowers and eventually the business opportunity presented itself to buy GardenShop – something (more) for Rhona to pour her love and passion into.

In fact, Rhona’s life-long commitment to the nurturing of beautiful, growing plants and flowers meant that she was honored with a Hybrid Tea Rose being named after her, in celebration of one of her birthdays. ‘Rhona is extremely proud of the ‘Rhona Lya’ rose – it has a full foliage of firm pettled blooms in hues of deep-cream to cognac-gold. The flower has a distinctly sweet-honeyed scent and is characterized by natural vigor and sturdy stateliness. It is a rose of unique beauty, much like Rhona herself.’

Rhona Lya RoseAt about the same time as the acquisition of GardenShop, the Lubner’s moved (partially) to London for business reasons and bought a house in Shere, an 11th century village in Surrey. The garden had been horribly neglected but with a lot of effort, Rhona started redoing it from scratch. It took about 15 years to transform the garden and get it to where she wanted it, but she absolutely loved every minute of it!

“I grow all my own vegetables and have a wonderful time,” says Rhona. “Ronnie is still amused but loves it all.”

Happy Gardening!
The GardenShop Team



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