Garden taking root in modern lifestyles

Garden taking root in modern lifestyles

As lifestyles and living environments become ever more sophisticated, Sokea Garden aims to be the leading local botanic decoration expert working to international standards.

Maslow’s human need theory argues that after fulfilling their basic needs such as shelter, food, and clothes, people seek comfort and entertainment and a similar trend can now be seen emerging in Cambodia as increasingly affluent citizens look to upgrade their lifestyles. 

Residences are the perfect example – simply owning a property was the priority for most Cambodians just a few years ago. But now the emerging middle class can afford more decent homes, they are decorating their residences with increasingly sophisticated fittings and facilities and developing green surrounding landscapes to create their perfect living environments.

Mr. Lao Nam Keang, director of Sokea Garden, who has observed more residential, industrial and commercial properties being designed with botanic landscapes to improve the environment for residents and increase the property value, sees this trend as a hot business opportunity.

“As their living standards and earning income rise gradually, more and more people begin thinking of landscape designs that offer them a good living environment not just inside the home, but in the vicinity, so that they can have a home where they can physically and mentally relax,” he said.

The trend has also influenced many property developers to go green. As most of them are used to focusing on delivering residences with good design, materials and sound quality, Nam Keang has observed that developers are increasingly dividing a fair proportion of their development for green landscaping, theme parks and ponds in response to upgraded lifestyles and market competition.

With its own botanic garden, which is home to hundreds of flowers and trees, Sokea Garden offers a complete solution from design and supply to building botanic garden with exotic flowers and trees based on customers’ needs. The company specialises in landscape design and building, civil work, water features, landscape work and indoor and outdoor maintenance for any small and big projects including residences, hotels, boreys, industrial plants, condominiums and resorts.

With a background as a designer, Nam Keang established the company in 1999 after developing a strong interest in the botanic world. The business was rough in the first three years, which he blames on the absence of commitment. After meeting his wife and getting married, they changed the company name to Sokea Garden (Ms. Hok Sokea is his wife’s name), and teamed up with potential partners to make the business prosper as it does today.

Currently, the company has a base team of many well-experienced workers, designer and botanic experts with the possibility to recruit more based on a project’s requirements.

Sokea Garden has designed various projects so far and Mr. Nam Keang is very proud to have designed a pond in the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle for the Coca-Cola factory in Phnom Penh to be the world’s biggest Coca-Cola bottle.

“Besides storing fresh water to supply the factory, it allows workers to sit under the surrounding trees to physically and mentally relax, refresh their mood by seeing the green scenery and take fresh air,” he explained. “Workers at factories without green space usually do not feel relaxed from their breaks and that affects their productivity.”

Nam Keang admits many local and international botanic design companies are currently competing in the market. But for him, competing with them is not an issue, but his own challenge is to bring the best and highest quality design for his clients. “Our vision is to build a local botanic design brand, with international recognition.

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