From Barbados to Tulsa, Cumberbatch Family Pursues Passion for Outdoors Through Their Vibrant Green Hibiscus Gardening Business
By Kylie Hammock
GTR Feature Writer
Charles and Monica Cumberbatch are now the owners of the thriving Green Hibiscus gardening and landscaping company but, just nine years ago, the Cumberbatch family was new to Tulsa having just immigrated from the tropical island nation of Barbados. Many are usually surprised to hear that the Charles and Monica chose to move with their daughters Destiny and Azaria to Oklahoma from the stunningly beautiful beaches of Barbados. However, Charles and Monica say they felt called to Tulsa so they could be trained as ministers of the Gospel by Apostle Dr. Joel Laurore who they met in Toronto, Canada and see as a spiritual father. The Cumberbatchs’ faith is a large part of their identity, and they hope to use their business to serve others.
Although the Cumberbatch family started a new business in Tulsa, they did not come to pursue to the American Dream as is common with immigrant families. In fact, Charles and Monica left behind thriving careers in Barbados to come to Tulsa and pursue their calling. Monica holds a Master’s in Business Administration from The University of Leicester as well as a Computer Science degree from Barbados Community College and, at heart, is an entrepreneur and educator. In Barbados, Monica started many small business ventures such as the Daystars Early Learning Academy which she directed for 26 years until she migrated to the U.S. Charles holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from John Brown University where he received a scholarship to play soccer. Charles worked as a youth worker with a Christian Fellowship organization in Barbados, but he also held positions in office and solar energy solutions companies.
Throughout his family’s many ventures, Charles has always had a passion for the outdoors due to his involvement in his father’s plant nursery as a child and teenager. Despite being involved in many other businesses, Charles continued to work with lawns and gardens in Barbados and has accumulated over 40 years of experience in lawncare and landscaping. After moving to Tulsa, Charles knew he wanted to continue his passion and he became a member of the Tulsa Master Gardener Program to add to his numerous other certifications in horticulture and landscape design. After completing this program, Charles launched Green Hibiscus in 2014 and spearheaded the lawn and landscaping sides of the business while Monica handled the administrative duties on top of her job as a college professor.
Seven years after the founding of Green Hibiscus, Charles is still satisfied with his day-to-day business responsibilities and Monica has quit her job to help with the business full-time. Although many lawncare workers do not want to take on garden work and design because the tedious tasks required cut down on productivity, the Cumberbatchs relish in transforming their customers’ yards. The services provided by Green Hibiscus can include anything from simply weeding flowerbeds to bringing overgrown gardens back to life. Ultimately, Charles and Monica say, “our mission is simply to bring a smile to our customers’ faces and warmth to their hearts by providing a service where we are intentional about doing it right the first time.”
As their business has grown, the Cumberbatch family has maintained high standards in their family owned and operated business and are no strangers to getting their hands dirty. Charles and Monica love connecting with their clients and still facilitate much of the services their business provides on their own. For this reason, Green Hibiscus was hit particularly hard earlier this year when both Charles and Monica contracted COVID-19 and were forced to put a halt to operations. However, both have now recovered and are back to doing what they love. From having conversations, prayers, or even singalongs that include Charles’s booming voice, the Cumberbatch family is dedicated to connecting with their customers and providing quality lawncare, landscaping, and gardening services.