On May 15th, 2013, Ambius will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Tropical Plant Rentals by Gerry Leider in Chicago, IL. Over the course of five decades, Tropical Plant Rentals evolved into Ambius – North America’s largest interior landscaping company. Thanks to the hard work of countless colleagues through the years, Ambius today helps businesses from coast-to-coast beautify their buildings. From desktop office plants to stunning holiday decorations to 4,000 square-foot green walls, Ambius makes the world a more beautiful place.
Considering Ambius’ origins begin with Gerry Leider, Greener on the Inside spoke with the founder about the early days and some of his fondest memories from his many years leading the company.
Greener on the Inside: How did the Leider family get into the plant business?
Gerry Leider: My grandfather got started growing vegetables in greenhouses until the late 1920’s. When my father took over the company, the vegetable business in Chicago went south because refrigeration was invented and they started growing vegetables in the South. My father then turned the company into a wholesale greenhouse operation, growing seasonal potted blooming plants and selling them to retail florists. Read More »
Here at Greener on the Inside, we are all about promoting office plants and nature-inspired design through interesting blog posts. However, our Ambius colleagues in Australia took the task of raising awareness about the benefits of plants to a whole new level. This past March and April, the Ambius team gave away 10,000 plants to Australians while educating office workers on the tenents of Biophilia (humanity’s innate need for nature). The response was remarkable with prospective plant owners lining up during their lunch breaks in Brisbane and Sydney to receive their new green friends. To gain a better perspective on the campaign, Greener on the Inside chatted with Anne Briggs, Marketing & Communications Manager for Ambius in Australia.
Greener on the Inside: Tell me about the campaign’s theme of Biophilia. What types of things did you want to make people more aware of about plants?
Anne Briggs: We all instinctively seem to understand that we are somehow innately connected with other living things – a term referred to as Biophilia (‘bio’ meaning earth and ‘philia’ meaning ‘a love of’, so a “love of the earth”). This concept was identified by biologist, Edward O. Wilson, in his 1984 book titled, Biophilia, where he details the close association of humans to nature, which includes plants, animals and weather. Wilson found that, when given a choice, people gravitate towards environments that incorporate features found in a natural environment. This includes: good natural light, clean air and optimal space to do your work effectively, ideally featuring views of outside & a connection to living things such as plants. Read More »
In modern times, living green walls are springing up in bustling metropolises around the globe. Each new green wall project seems to outdo the last as architects continue to imagine new possibilities for green design. While today’s walls of green are mighty impressive, none of them live up to history’s most famous (and possibly fictional) vertical garden – the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
In my youth, I went through a stage in middle school where I obsessed over the “7 Wonder of the Ancient World.” The sprawling seaside sculpture, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Giant Pyramid of Giza and all the other ancient wonders fascinated me greatly but Babylon’s Hanging Gardens was always my favorite. As the story goes, King Nebakanezer II, the king of Babylon, constructed the Hanging Gardens outside modern-day Baghdad along the great Euphrates River. Read More »