• Avant Gardener Profile: Marie Rollin

    Clara Mary Joy

    Meet Marie Rollin, friend of Sowvital and true lover of plants. Join us as she shares how her relationship with plants is rooted in her childhood memories of the outside world, serving as a means to foster a sense of connectedness and appreciation for the beauty and resilience of nature.

    In your own words, can you introduce yourself and describe what you do professionally?

    I’m Marie, I am 34 years old, I am responsible for supplies and purchasing in a company that makes products locally directly from the producer.

    What is your place of residence?

    I live in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.

    Have you always loved plants?

    I have always loved plants but usually those found outside! My passion for indoor plants dates back to when I moved into this apartment 6 years ago, because I finally had enough space and light to have a few happy ones!

    When and how was your connection to Nature made?

    I grew up in the countryside, spending my days rolling in the grass and climbing trees, watching grasshoppers and tasting all the flowers in my grandmother's garden.

    Did you grow up around plants?

    Not the indoor ones, my mom has a theory that they steal our oxygen so there were none in our house!
    A collection of potted plants decorated the room next to a sofa with a wooden-like horse statue. There are some art and framed pictures being hung on the wall.
    A big pot of Dumb cane next to a small pot of basils next to a phonograph on the table. Behind these, a small dog is sitting on the sofa with cushions and a couple of books on the table.
    A potted Heartleaf philodendron hung on the corner of the ceiling near a food frame.
    A collection of house plants, Dumb cane, coleus, Monstera, etc in front of a sofa while a dog sitting on it.
    What was the first plant in your current collection?

    I found my first plant on sale at the Franprix downstairs: a monstera at €9.99. When I noticed that she was growing, that she was giving me new leaves... I loved watching her, and I couldn't stop!

    What is your most precious plant to you and why?

    The first, my monstera called Momo, which is now as tall as me!

    Do you have a routine for taking care of your plants?

    Watering each one on Sunday - and regular pruning.

    What's the most important lesson you've learned from caring for your plants? Any great advice to share with us?

    When they are not in good shape, do not hesitate to prune everything to allow them to save the energy necessary to get back on their feet.

    Where do you look for advice on your plants?

    I have a book that I like by Morgane Jacqmin: How not to make your plants die, and if not, I hang out a lot on Youtube or I ask my friends for advice.
    Areca palm leaves at the very front of the camera while there are other potted plants, empty pots, candles, and duck/chicken statues behind on the cupboard.
    A big pot of Dumb cane next to a small pot of basils next to a phonograph on the table. Behind it, a small dog is sitting on the sofa and there are a couple of paintings hung on the wall.
    Do you have a favourite home or space, if so where and why?

    I had seen on nowness a home tour of David Hockney's old apartment in which the top of the kitchen is a huge planter, with an incredible jungle of plants... I dream of it!

    Where do you find inspiration for your plants?

    I love looking at old decoration books, there are often plants that you don't see everywhere. And I bring back cuttings when I travel.

    Which plant(s) do you plan to buy soon?

    The priority is to grow the ones I have, but otherwise I am trying to grow a lemon tree and a kumquat tree from seeds!

    Do you share cuttings with friends or family? Do you have any rituals around that?

    Yes! As soon as I go to someone who loves plants, I leave with cuttings, and vice versa. I always have a few in progress and it's not uncommon for my friends to leave with them at the end of our dinners.

    Does this feeling of ritual extend to your mental and physical well-being?

    Clearly I have a small area of plants in distress or needing attention next to my sink. I pamper them almost every day, and I follow their evolution. There is a very meditative side to going around the plants, watering those that need it, pruning the others, watching the cuttings take root. It's a moment that makes me feel good!
    Bottle of alcohol, glasses and a pot of basils on a wooden plate next to a phonograph on the table. There’s a mirror and different pieces of art hung on the wall and lots of decorations in the room.
    A pot of Dieffenbachia seguine (Dumb cane plant) grows in a terracotta pot. In their background, there are a couple of tools hung on the wall and a colourful piece of art.
    A piece of Monstera leaf and Areca palm leaves.
    A collection of house plants, Monstera, coleus, heartleaf, Alocasia, Angel wing begonia and Chinese money plant next to a sofa chair while there is a table with a couple of books.
    What characteristics of your plants could apply to you and vice versa?

    Momo my monstera is very plump - a bit like me!

    What have your plants taught you?


    Which living person do you most admire?

    It's difficult! I admire qualities in people more than people as a whole: the radicalism of certain activists, the serenity of my yoga teacher, the strength of my best friend, the commitment of Habibitch, the ambition of my husband, the writing of Joan Didion…

    What is your most marked characteristic?

    I am hyper observant, sensitive to the smallest detail.

    What do you value most in your friends?

    Their independence, their determination, their grain of madness!

    Do you have a motto?

    Take no bull, do no harm.

    In conclusion, we express profound appreciation towards Marie for welcoming us into her personal sanctuary and offering a glimpse into her unique botanical sphere.
    Marie Rolling sat on the sofa photography with her collection of house plants, such as coleus, heartleaf, Alocasia, Angel wing begonia, Chinese money plant and Areca palm.