NEW YORK - Inside a century-old warehouse, you can travel from the tropics to the desert without ever leaving Greenpoint.
Since 2018, the former tool and die factory has been Tula House, a design-focused plant shop.
In a vibrant, high-ceilinged space inspired by a Cuban courtyard, the tropical room is lush and green with a climate optimized for orchids and anthurium. A tiled entrance leads to the arid room, whose low humidity and all-day sunlight helps cacti and succulents thrive.
Christan Summers runs the shop with her husband Ivan Martinez. She hopes visitors experience total immersion among the flowers and leaves.
"I want them to feel like they have entered another world," she said.
Christan and Ivan take pride in their selection.
"We have very unique species that we sell," Christan said. "We want the common plants, but we really love the uncommon plants."
Rare offerings change regularly and may include the euphorbia lactea white ghost, a cultivar lacking the chlorophyll that makes plants green.
At Tula House, Christan and Ivan aim to demystify plants.
"You're not born with a green thumb or a black thumb," Ivan said. "It just takes a couple tips."
Understanding a plant's failure to thrive sometimes requires a thorough examination of its living conditions. Christan, Ivan, and their staff act as plant therapists, identifying contributing factors such as too little water or too much air conditioning.
"The therapy part we really enjoy," he said. "Some people will come in here and spend an hour or two figuring it out."
At Tula, Christan and Ivan hope to provide an opportunity for discovery and exploration.
"No question is too silly, too dumb. We'll take it all on, and we'll just help you through this process," he said. "That's really the basis of Tula House."
59 Meserole Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
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