BILLINGS — Monet Bjerken first became interested in plants when she was in middle school and eventually nurtured her passion so much that it grew into a business.
“I’ve been into plants for a long time,” the 21-year-old Billings woman said on Monday. “Obviously, it’s kind of blossomed into a passion. During COVID is kind of when I started getting into the rare side of things.”
Bjerken started a Facebook group, Yellowstone County Rare Plant B/S/T, in March of 2023 for others interested in buying, selling or trading rare plants. Just two weeks ago, she launched her own business, Monet's Garden.
She grows the rare plants in a room in her home that she has transformed into the perfect environment for plants to grow.
In her entire home, including her plant room, Bjerken said she had over 180 plants.
But what makes a plant rare? According to Bjerken, it is a plant not commonly found at Lowe's or Walmart, or a plant that no longer grows in the wild.
“Thankfully because of collectors, we were able to get some specimens back in the '80s and stuff, so we do still have those plants commercially but it’s just not in the wild anymore. So, that would be considered rare,” she said.
Bjerken has big plans to grow her new business and hopes to open a retail location for Monet's Garden. She'll continue to grow her passion for plants and enjoy the community she has brought together who share the same love for plants.
“It just kind of happened naturally. My plants got too big and so then I had to start cutting them and then people were asking for cuttings of things I didn’t have so I figured I would just get those things,” she said. “I’m so happy that I can show people all these beautiful plants and help people get plants that they’d never dreamed of seeing.”