Han Jianmin and Lu Lingxi were acquaintances. Brother Han was not only a regular customer of Tiny Garden, but also a hardcore fan of Tiny Garden.
As a man over 40 years old, Han Jianmin had both the old and the young people under his care, was the backbone of the family and a representative of the most stressed group of population in the social science survey. Some time ago, he had some bad days. The old man at home was a little uncomfortable and was admitted to the hospital. The college entrance exams of the child were not very smooth. The things at work also annoyed him, and his favourite clivia looked like it was about to die. With a lot of things piled up, Han Jianmin felt quite powerless. But all this seemed to have changed since he was taken to Tiny Garden by Lao Cheng and the clivia was saved. The old man was discharged from the hospital, the child was ready to resume his studies on the advice of his class teacher, and even things at work became smooth.
That day, his stingy and cheap boss suddenly said he wanted to purchase a batch of green plants to decorate the office environment. As someone who loved flowers and plants very much, Han Jianmin naturally took this job. The first place he thought of was Tiny Garden, and out of confidence in Lu Lingxi, he spent the budget approved by the boss cleanly without a moment’s hesitation.
The delivery speed of Tiny Garden was fast and the potted plants were delivered in no time. There was nothing special about these potted plants the first few days after they were put up, but soon Han Jianmin noticed that the office environment seemed to have changed for the better. He was not the only one, other colleagues also felt this way.
Han Jianmin’s office was in a newly renovated building and their whole unit moved in after the renovation. Some colleagues complained privately that the office was full of formaldehyde and that they felt stuffy after a day at work. There was also a new girl who complained that her face was allergic and itching unbearably every day. But since these pots were put up, the colleagues’ stuffy head symptoms seemed to have gradually reduced, and even the new girl was not so allergic anymore, the red rash on her skin fading away, revealing a pretty face. In private, other colleagues also felt that the smell of the newly renovated office seemed to have dissipated and the air was noticeably fresher.
Because these potted plants were purchased by Han Jianmin, everyone would mention that Lao Han had done a good job. Even the boss complimented Lao Han once and moved the potted plants that were originally placed at the entrance to the office inside and put them behind himself.
Han Jianmin was somewhat pleased to be unanimously recognised by his colleagues, which was not an easy task. It was similar to the logistics of giving out New Year’s Eve goods: there were colleagues who were still making a fuss about the things they were given for free. But these potted plants were deservedly able to please everyone.
Originally, this was the end of the story, but who would have thought that the day of the inspection by the superiors would have coincided with a power outage in the unit. The weather in August would be deadly hot without air conditioning; and yet, maybe it was a psychological factor but Lao Han didn’t feel hot at all that day. When the superiors left, they complimented on the good work they had done in the office, especially the lush potted plants that made people feel cool just by looking at them. When they heard it was Han Jianmin who had purchased the plants, they even gave Lao Han a special compliment.
This time, Han Jianmin was completely on fire. He already had a good impression of Lu Lingxi, and when he thought about these things, he felt as if his life had gone smoothly since Lu Lingxi had saved that clivia. The child was blessed, so good.
A few days after the inspection, Li Weisheng came up. Han Jianmin was acquainted with Li Weisheng before but didn’t know him well. Li Weisheng was in charge of the logistics of a superior unit, and his level was much higher than Lao Han’s. Han Jianmin was wondering what Li Weisheng was looking for him for and then he heard that the other party was also going to buy potted plants. When the superiors went back after the inspection, they all thought the potted plants here were good and wanted to buy a batch to replace their original ones. Li Weisheng was in charge of this matter, so he asked around and came to Lao Han.
When they talked about Tiny Garden, they found that by coincidence they both knew Lu Lingxi. Li Weisheng also made a point of asking Han Jianmin if the time he met Xiao Xi was the time he came to deliver the goods. When Han Jianmin nodded, Li Weisheng laughed. He had been wondering if the potted plants were from Xiao Xi’s shop, and now Han Jianmin confirmed it. The two of them agreed to go to Tiny Garden together. This order was much larger than the one Han Jianmin had previously made for his unit.
“Brother Han, Brother Li.” Lu Lingxi was quite happy to see the two of them and curved his eyes to welcome them into Tiny Garden.
This was the first time that Li Weisheng had come to Tiny Garden, and even though along the way Han Jianmin had painted a picture of how good Tiny Garden was, he couldn’t even imagine it. It wasn’t until he stood inside Tiny Garden that he realised that Lao Han hadn’t been exaggerating, and that the air in it was simply amazing. Before Li Weisheng was hospitalised, their unit had organised a trip to a certain scenic area that was known to have the best natural environmental protection in China. He strolled around at that time and felt that the local air was definitely better than that of Fengcheng, but it wasn’t as impressive as it was boasted to be, called the pure natural oxygen bar. If you asked him, it was inside Tiny Garden that was the real pure natural oxygen bar.
When he heard that the current owner of Tiny Garden was Lu Lingxi, Li Weisheng was even happier. “Xiao Xi is good, your Sister Tian will be happy when she finds out.” The last time Li Weisheng met Lu Lingxi, he went back and told about it to Tian Lei, but Tian Lei’s work suddenly sent her on a business trip, so she never came to see Lu Lingxi.
Lu Lingxi was a little embarrassed by the compliment and smiled shyly.
Li Weisheng came here for the green plants in Tiny Garden, but when he finished talking, Lu Lingxi couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed. The business of the shop had been good for a while and potted plants of every size sold quite well. Not counting the small potted plants, what Brother Li asked for was a hundred pots of large-leaved golden pothos and money trees. The stock in the plant nursery was probably not enough.
Lu Lingxi explained with some embarrassment that the plant nursery was not very large, and the larger potted plants like this were bought by offices. The sales were usually quite average, and the plant nursery didn’t grow much of them.
“Oh, so.” Li Weisheng thought about it and said cheerfully, “Then count as many as there are, and I’ll go to other places to make up the rest.”
“Okay, then I’ll trouble Brother Li.”
Li Weisheng smiled. What kind of trouble was this, he was usually in the logistics, running around was a common thing for him. But the green plants here in Lu Lingxi’s shop were really nice. He was planning to buy a few pots to display at home. After confirming the stock of the plant nursery, Li Weisheng paid half of the money as a deposit. He had a good impression of the child and knew that his family was not in a good situation, so he could give him a hand with the money. He believed that the child’s character was fine anyway.
Having made an appointment for the delivery, Li Weisheng didn’t stay much longer. There was not enough stock in Tiny Garden, and he had to find someone else.
After sending the two of them away, Lu Lingxi was a bit excited to keep track of the accounts. This single order from Brother Li was worth two months of Tiny Garden’s sales. This money, plus the money in the card, was enough to rent a few more acres of land to expand the plant nursery. It was almost September now, and it would be winter soon. By then, the Tiny Garden business should not be so active and he could focus on the plant nursery and prepare for next spring.
Thinking of this, Lu Lingxi pulled out his notebook where his development plan was carefully outlined. When the plant nursery was expanded, the planting scale of some green plants would be appropriately expanded as well. He also wanted to introduce some new plants. He had been looking at seeds on Taobao, but he just never had the space to plant them. After listing all these, Lu Lingxi chewed on his pen and decided that if he had extra money he would rent an acre of land specifically for tomatoes.
The last time there was a rainstorm in Fengcheng, the tomato crop in the backyard was knocked to the ground. He and Wang Shuxiu washed them all and cooked them into tomato sauce, which they sold at the bun shop of Brother Wang. Originally Wang Shuxiu was just giving it a try. There was too much tomato sauce and it couldn’t last long, and there weren’t that many people to give it to. What she didn’t expect was that the tomato sauce would be so popular that it was sold out within two days, and even Brother Wang’s bun business was on fire with it.
These days, many people were still looking for tomato sauce, and Wang Shuxiu made tomato sauce at home after work when she had nothing better to do. Perhaps because the land in the backyard had been purified, the newly grown tomatoes were big and red, and the taste was a little better than before, and the sauce was even more fragrant and rich.
Lu Lingxi wanted to persuade Wang Shuxiu to quit her job and just specialise in tomato sauce. Or they could open a small restaurant like Brother Wang and sell tomato sauce there.
Wang Shuxiu scolded Lu Lingxi for his simplistic thinking. How could it be easy to open a restaurant? What if you encountered a customer dragging his feet on credit and not paying? What if they encountered punks looking for trouble? She was a single woman in the family and Lu Lingxi was a kid. Without a man to stand up for them, anyone would treat them as a punch bag.
Lu Lingxi didn’t understand what Wang Shuxiu said. Since he started working at Tiny Garden, things had been going well and there hadn’t been any incidents with customers who didn’t pay or punks looking for trouble. The people he met were all quite nice, like Yan Yue, Brother Dong and Brother Han, and they all felt like good people. He also felt that he had grown up and was not a kid anymore.
Wang Shuxiu slapped him directly, “Little bastard, wait until you get a wife before you grow up.”
Lu Lingxi tried to retort that there was still Big Brother Yan. Big Brother Yan was tall and strong and could definitely intimidate people and stand up for them.
Wang Shuxiu immediately snorted, “Little bastard, if you were a girl, you could point to your Big Brother Yan to become a family and stand up for us. Now you are a boy and it’s too late for your mom to have another daughter. Yan Yue helped us once, how can he help us every time?”
Lu Lingxi was a bit confused, but also felt that Wang Shuxiu had a point. The matter of Wang Shuxiu’s quitting her job was put off again. The most important thing was that Wang Shuxiu pointed out that the tomatoes grown in the backyard were too few and that there would not be enough to open a restaurant. He could hear Wang Shuxiu’s meaning. Probably Wang Shuxiu wanted to quit her job, but all the conditions were not suitable.
Lu Lingxi chewed on his pen and was seriously thinking about renting an acre of land to grow tomatoes, when a customer walked in.
“Welcome.” He immediately put down his pen and looked over.
Appearing at the door was a young man. Judging by his clothes, he didn’t seem to be a resident of the nearby community but looked somewhat similar to Yan Yue in the feeling he gave off. The man looked at Lu Lingxi with a scrutinising gaze and a hint of indescribable meaning in his eyes.
“I’m looking for Yan Yue, is he here?”