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Plants: care and networking

More plants – acquired during the pandemic – require more maintenance. Result: lots of advice and networking. Interviews with Mélanie Bouchard, who created the Facebook group La passion des Plants d’hôtes du Québec, and with THE reference in horticulture in Quebec, Larry Hodgson, author of the blog Le jardinier laesseux.


Emilie CôtéEmilie Côté
Press

” It’s incredible ! Larry Hodgson says.

Views on his blog The Lazy Gardener jumped from 1.5 million views in 2019 to 2.5 million in 2020.

The third edition of his book Indoor plants, released last September, has sold nearly 2,500 copies and is in reprint. In Quebec, it is considered a bestseller. This is without counting the 1500 copies sold of Lazy gardener seedlings, book released barely a year ago.

For many plant lovers, the author of some 65 books on horticulture is THE reference. So, what does he think of the current craze for plants? “I have never seen this! Horticulture used to be a hobby associated with older people, but it’s no longer the case, he observes.

PHOTO ARCHIVES THE SUN

Larry Hodgson is considered THE benchmark in horticulture.

It’s amazing how much interest there is in plants! Which is stimulating for me, because that’s what I’ve been doing for 40 years.

Larry Hodgson, author and horticultural blogger

His passion for growing plants comes from his father who was a farmer. Larry Hodgson grew up in the suburbs of Toronto. As a child, his family visited Quebec City on the sidelines of Expo 67. Larry Hogdson fell in love with the Old Capital, so much so that he made the jump from the University of Toronto to the Laval University to complete his studies in languages. “And I never left. ”

Today he lives surrounded by hundreds of plants. Its courtyard is a huge garden.

He is not surprised that his passion is more and more common with the pandemic. “Taking care of a plant is a way of feeling useful. The plant needs us. And it’s beautiful! People feel good when they are surrounded by plants. ”

“It brings people together”

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

Mélanie Bouchard has some 700 plants, and even more during the summer season.

There is a lot of love for plants among the 26,000 members of the Quebec passion for indoor plants Facebook group, created by Mélanie Bouchard in 2013.

“At the start of the pandemic, we were 13,000 members. There, we are 26,000 members, she explains. Plants bring people together. It creates bonds and friendships. We all feel less alone. ”

Identification of species, advice in case of unwanted insects, exchange of cuttings or even ideas for furniture to showcase: the group is a veritable gold mine of information. The members talk about their plants as their children, with pride.

There are people of all ages, including several young men. Eight months ago, Olivier Gosselin had no plants, but those of his neighbor encouraged him to get a 10 ‘ivy and learn all he can on the subject. Today, the 24-year-old describes his apartment as a “biodome” and he even sells plants online.

> Visit the Plants of Montreal website

For her part, Mélanie Bouchard has some 700 plants, and even more during the summer season. “Small,” she says. Lots of succulents, cacti and caudex plants. It allows me to recharge my batteries, she adds. It makes me feel less alone. Since the start of the pandemic, I have not worked, so it keeps me busy. ”

There is nothing that makes her prouder than seeing a seedling grow and flower. “It’s gratifying,” she says.

Here are three very popular Quebec books for the maintenance of plants in Quebec.

PHOTO ELIZABETH GARTSIDE, PROVIDED BY ÉDITIONS GOÉLETTE

The Plantzy guide – Live in harmony with your plants

IMAGE PROVIDED BY QUEBEC-AMERICA

Green plants – A jungle between four walls, by Mélanie Grégoire

IMAGE PROVIDED BY BROQUET

Indoor plants, by Larry Hodgson

> Consult the Facebook page Passion for indoor plants in Quebec

Read the rest of the dossier

> Surround yourself with plants to get through the pandemic

> Plants rather than shows