Vivian Dolorita founded ‘Vivian’s Nursery’ back in 1984. Vivian started
a little nursery in a 200 m2 ( 2,200 sq ft) rented shade house. Her main
business at the time was the maintenance of interior plants in several offices.
After a few years abraod (1987-1989 Sanford, Florida and one year in the
Netherlands) Vivian and her family returned to Curaçao in 1990. The company was
incorporated in 1991 and was named: ‘Vivian’s Nursery N.V.’ (Inc). Vivian
and her partner Ben Kleine are co-owners of the company.
The company has since then grown and now has 22 people on its pay-roll. Apart from the Nursery, the company has a Garden Center (Retail operation), Garden Design and Landscaping Department (including irrigation systems) and an Interior Plants Maintenance Department.
In the front yard (200 m2 , 2,200 sq ft) of their home Vivian and Ben started
to grow and sell plants.
First annuals like Vincas, Petunias etc. in 4” pots. Shrubs, palms and trees in 1 gallon and 3 gallon pots followed soon. A year later 3 empty lots behind their home were rented and the nursery grow to 2.400 m2 (26,000 sq ft). Expensive municiple water was used to water the plants. In 1994 the Nursery was moved to a more suitable site at ‘de Savaan’, where 1 ha (2,5 acres) of land was rented from SOLTUNA (a foundation for the development of agriculture). Here, re-cycled sewage water is used for the plants.
A 1.500 m2 (16,000 sq. ft) shade house was built for interior plants and annuals, a propagation (mist) house for rooting cuttings and a ‘fern’ house for growing ferns and orchids. In 1997 an other hectare (2.5 acre) was added, making the Nursery 2 ha (5 acres), the largest and most professionel on the island. All plants are automatically watered through a controller operated irrigation system.
Compost is made from plant clippings, which is then used in the soil mix.
Most plants are grown from in-house made cuttings, but cuttings, young plants (liners) and seeds of new plants and new varieties are also imported in order to bring the market something new. The plants are sold, to other garden centers, used in landscape projects, sold to other landscape contracters and sold to the public in the Garden Center at the Promenade Shopping Center. Plants are also rented out for special occasions like weddings, trade shows etc.
Located in the Promenade Shopping Center the Garden Center is 2.500 m2, or 27,000 sq. ft. It has a shade house for interior plants. The main product of course is plants, with Terra Cotta pots from Italy as the second largest item. Other products are potting soil, river rock, orchid products etc.
The company designs and installs gardens ranging from a small residential back-yard to large commercial projects. We work and have worked with landscape architects from the US, Venezuela and the Netherlands on projects like the Sonesta (now Marriott) Hotel, the Promenade Shopping Center, the Zeelandia Office park, Villa Park Zuurzak, Santa Barbara Beach Resort, Seru Boca Estate, Coral Estate, Sheraton Hotel, KPMG offices and more.
Both Vivian and Ben have an agricultural background. Vivian studied horticulture (vegetable growing) in Curaçao and Ben tropical agriculture (main subject plant pests and diseases) in Deventer, the Netherlands. Vivian’s Nursery N.V. (Inc.) has about 22 employees on its pay roll. None of whom had a previous horticultural training and therefore had to be trained on the job.