He’s following in his father's footsteps!
Louis Easton first learned the foundations of being a horticulturist from his father, Louis Easton III. The elder Easton was an Ohio salesman who took up delivering and selling plants for wholesale nurseries to garden centers in an effort to immerse himself and his family into a healthier lifestyle. When Easton became of age, his dad hired him during summers to help fix the displays of some of the stores on their route. As a child, Easton saw no use for it, wanting to focus more on sports and hanging with his friends, but as an adult, he began to appreciate the skills he’d acquired.
“Plants weren’t hip; I thought they were cheesy, something for old people…I didn’t understand that he was giving me an opportunity…I’m so glad I had a father like that, who could see something I couldn’t see. As a young African American man, the things in front of us were usually sports and entertainment, but scientists, botanists, master gardeners…they were never highlighted in popular culture. I’m just thanking my dad for steering me into this,” said Easton.
After years of working in entertainment as an actor, and then as a filmmaker, focusing on TV shows and videos, he pivoted back into the world of plants, starting off as a plant vendor at local farmers' markets in 2014. His company, Easton Garden Designs, would not only sell houseplants and vegetable seedlings, but Easton would also travel to local middle schools and libraries emphasizing the importance of urban farming. But then Easton was furloughed from his job where he made films about water conservation and composting, thrusting him full time into the plant world during the pandemic.
That’s when he took on the moniker of "The Plant Mon," the name a nod to Jamaican culture and how hard they work. His focus then shifted to finding a way to get plants to people who were too busy to shop.
“I just put myself in my customer’s shoes. If you've been out in traffic all day, it’s so stressful; the last thing you want to think about is getting back in the car and shopping for plants. But if you don’t have to bust a grape, if you can just sit there and let the grape come to you... who wouldn’t want that?,” said Easton.
Now, he runs a thriving business, asking customers a few questions on the phone before delivering a car full of curated plants to their desired locations for them to purchase. In addition to that, he also offers plant care advice and demonstrations via Instagram and sells several houseplants online, delivering them for free in Los Angeles County with a minimum purchase of $25.
Easton can also be found at various farmers' markets, diagnosing plant problems for free while also creating educational films for several municipalities under his Good Sides umbrella. This past Spring, Easton was featured in a 2022 collection campaign for J Crew featuring plants from his own 2022 collection. He is also the author of a book entitled “Five Air Purifying Plants You Should Have in Your Home Today.”
It is his hope to one day have his own TV show highlighting the work he’s doing with plants in Southern California. For now, he’s just focused on helping veteran plant lovers and newcomers alike. For more information on Easton’s work and plants, visit www.theplantmon.com.
Photo Courtesy of Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times