Jo and I both love to garden! So to fuel our interest and to learn more about the Jakarta urban gardening scene; we caught up with Lisa Mandira the creator of Mandira’s Garden, to chat about her bountiful city garden and cafe in Kemang, South Jakarta.
Lisa has been passionate about gardening since she was 8 years old and not long after that, cooking was added to her list of favourite things to do. In 2015 she decided to turn her childhood passion for gardening and cooking into a project for everyone to enjoy, and Mandira’s Garden was born.
To me, a strong connection between the place, the plants, and the gardener makes for an engaging and exciting garden. Lisa Mandira has created such a space!
Come with us on a tour!
- Below we introduce you to the beautiful grounds of Mandira’s Garden, which include the abundant native plantings, fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit
- next we take you into the cafe market to show you the fresh produce options of the day, available to purchase
- we introduce you to Lisa’s ‘Garden to Table’ concept
- then take a peak into Lisa’s special creative space, her Tree House (we even had time for a brief Q&A with Lisa inside)
- Finally, Lisa shares her Top Tips for starting your own urban vegetable or herb garden
Ayo! Let’s Go!
The location : Jalan Kemang Timur Raya no. 55, Jakarta Selatan
Open: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 5pm
Mandira’s garden is set back from Jalan Kemang Timur. Look out for its sign which is shared with Galeri Pot and Lavida Home. All three businesses are located on the same block. After you alight from your car, make your way through the archway on the far side of the car park.
Mandira’s Garden Cafe and Fresh Produce Market
Fresh seasonal produce
All the fresh produce sold in the cafe is from Lisa’s farm at Gunung Putri and some local home farms in Gadog Bogor, Bandung and Cipanas.
Garden to Table concept
The concept is ‘Fresh from Garden to Table. Lisa’s team cook what they harvest, so each day the menu changes. We love that! Today in the kitchen are noodles and pasta made with vegetables, fish, sautéed veggies, tempe and tofu.
Lisa’s Tree House
Lisa’s tree house looking out onto the garden clearly plays an important role in supporting her creative processes.
Q & A with Lisa
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Pontianak (West Kalimantan) until my teen days and after that I moved to Jakarta. I loved gardening and raising chickens from a young age, but when I moved to Jakarta, there was something wrong, I had the feeling that there was a missing part in my life. I missed my garden and chickens. I used to like to climb trees and when I arrived at the top, I was too afraid to go down.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
When I was 8 I loved to grow plants and at 12 yrs old I wanted to be a Psychologist. I am a Family Counsellor now.
What gives you energy?
Nature is an energy booster for me, to see plants growing is a life giving pleasure.
What’s one thing about you that would surprise people? Hmm .. apa yah? I built a tree house in the middle of the city with a fairy garden
What annoys you?
When people litter & don’t respect nature
What delights you?
I like being lost in my garden & tree house
About Jakarta & Indonesia:
3 words to describe your Jakarta?
Traffic, beauty & life
What’s your favourite Indonesian book?
What’s your favourite Indonesian Movie, Band and Singer?
Movie : Laskar Pelangi
Band : Ada Band
Singer : Tulus
Where’s your favourite place to eat in Jakarta?
I like Bandar Djakarta – Ancol, they have amazing seafood with a great ambience surrounding the place
What’s Jakarta’s best kept secret?
Sunda Kelapa Harbor
Batik Shopping in Thamrin City
Tea, Coffee or Juice? And where?
To find the difference, Mandira’s Garden serve fresh Blue Tea, fresh Kale Smoothies and other fresh juices with no sugar added
Where do you go to relax in Jakarta?
My Garden & The Tree House
Finish these sentences:
Every visitor to Jakarta should eat … Rainbow Noodles at Mandira’s Garden
Every visitor to Jakarta should visit … Mandira’s Garden and enjoy the little escape from the busy routines they might have
Every visitor to Jakarta should experience … a cup of Blue Tea with a slice of Dark Chocolate Cake with a little garden & a tiny tree house view
What’s your favourite place to visit in Indonesia? Or place you would like to visit?
I love Belitung, it’s a beautiful place, and Sumba will be the next destination because in my opinion Sumba is a hidden gem.
Lisa’s Top Tips for starting your own urban vegetable or herb garden in Jakarta:
Where to start?
You should start with a passion that they already have, if we have passion it is easier for us to think and do it with heart without any burden and pressures, because when we love what we like to do, we will enjoy the process.
How much space do I need?
In Kemang we don’t have a lot of space, but it’s not about how big a space you have, but more so, what do you like to grow in your garden that matters, because if there is a ‘will’ you will find a space to grow it.
Best veggies or herbs to try?
Mandira’s Garden only grow from high quality seeds. Visit their shop to see their selection.
What type of compost is best?
We use goat and chicken manure and leaf compost which we make ourselves. If you can buy straight from the farmer that’s best, but if you can’t road side nurseries sell good animal compost.
How to go organic?
Because we live in the city, it’s very hard to keep the plants looking nice and good looking, sometimes we cover them with a cage to protect the plants especially veggies from the insects, or we spray them with organic pesticides.
What Pests should we look out for?
Our the most enemy is the mouse.
What about vertical growing?
Vertical growing is a very good alternative for people who have no space for growing, at least with a vertical garden you can grow veggies & herbs.
After enjoying the garden why not return to the cafe for tea and cake!
How to follow Lisa and Mandira’s Garden on social media?
Instagram : mandirasgarden
Whatsapp : +62 818-0203-7555
How about you? Do you like to garden? Have you grown herbs, vegetables or fruit trees in Jakarta?
We would love to know! Leave us a message in the comments!
Wishing you a lovely weekend!
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Words : Liz McClean Photography : a journey bespoke