• Avant Gardener Profile: Mathieu Baboulène

    Clara Mary Joy

    Meet Mathieu, a Parisian in Communication and Marketing, whose urban sanctuary thrives with diverse plants, notably an enchanting araucaria — inspired by Casanova Boutique, whose creativity blooms in plant care. Rooted in patience, this ritual fosters tranquillity, contributing significantly to his well-being.

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

    My name is Mathieu – I work in Communication and Marketing.

    What is your place of residence?


    What is your current state of mind?

    Scared of what's happening in the world.

    Have you always loved plants? Did you grow up around plants?

    Yes, it’s a passion. I grew up in the countryside, hence the desire to recreate at home an island of greenery.

    Why and when did you start collecting plants?

    I have always had plants. The desire for more was triggered during the first lockdown.

    What was the first plant in your current collection?

    A Monstera Deliciosa.

    What is your most precious plant and why?

    An araucaria – It is simply sublime.

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

    Yes – Every 15 days during winter and every week during summer. Watering and cleaning the leaves one by one.

    What is the most important lesson you have learned over the years? Tests and tribulations of plant care?


    Where do you look for advice on your plants?

    I try to deal with it instinctively.
    Monstera and a potted snake plant are arranged near a wall shelf. The lush green foliage adds a touch of natural beauty to the room. Framed religious pictures hang above, providing a sense of spiritual tranquility. This arrangement brings together elements of nature and faith, creating a harmonious atmosphere in the space.
    A well-adorned shelf displays an array of small statues, candles, and decorations, surrounded by potted plants. At the top of the shelf, a climbing plant with trailing vines adds a dynamic touch, with strings extending downwards. The combination of decorative elements and greenery creates a visually captivating and lively display, adding warmth and character to the room.
    A close-up view of an angel figurine on a shelf adorned with small religious statues and candles. Nearby stands a crow statue perched on a stick, adding a touch of mystique. Vines from a plant cascade down from above, enhancing the ethereal atmosphere. This scene evokes a sense of spiritual reverence and natural beauty, with elements of symbolism and tranquility.
    A close-up photograph captures the intricate details of an angel figurine resting on a large leaf. The leaf's vibrant green hue provides a striking backdrop for the delicate features of the angel. Behind, a collection of framed butterfly samples adorns the wall, showcasing their colorful wings in intricate patterns. This composition juxtaposes the ethereal beauty of the angel with the natural wonders of butterflies, creating a visually captivating scene.
    A variety of butterfly specimens are meticulously framed and arranged on the wall, their vibrant colors and delicate wings on display. Lush green plants sit in front of the display, adding a touch of nature to the scene. The framed butterflies create a visually captivating focal point, inviting viewers to admire the beauty and diversity of these winged creatures.
    The relationship between plant and house, how do you feel like your plants fit into your space domestically, then complete it or call it into question?

    My plants are an integral part of my interior. The apartment adapted to plants rather than the other way around.

    Do you have a favourite home or space, if so, where and why?

    My mother's house in Corrèze. It is a peaceful and green place. A place where time seems to stop.

    Where do you find inspiration for your plants? Is there any space, domestic or other than you you see imitating?

    A sublime boutique named CasaNova in Paris. I find all my plants and my inspiration there.

    How do you see your plants evolving in the future?

    I would like to buy a bigger apartment to have a lot more plants.

    Which plant will you buy next?

    I don't have a specific plant in mind, but rare plants.

    What do you do with your plants when you go travelling?

    A friend comes to take care of it.

    The relationship between mental health, personal well-being and maintenance of plants is powerful. To what extent does plant care function as a ritual in your daily life?

    It’s a moment of communication with the plants – Knowing if they feel good, taking care of them. At the same time, it is a time of introspection for me.

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

    It contributes to my mental well-being.

    What is your idea of perfect happiness?

    Living with my cat and thousands of plants.

    What do you consider your greatest indulgence?

    Indulgence is part of my nature.
    A large potted cactus stands prominently in the room, its spiny arms reaching upward towards the ceiling. Near the window, a colorful statue of Jesus adds a vibrant contrast to the greenery. Surrounding the room are various other types of potted cacti, each displaying unique shapes and textures. This scene combines elements of natural beauty and spiritual symbolism, creating a visually striking and harmonious space.
    A large potted cactus commands attention atop a cupboard filled with a diverse collection of smaller cacti, situated next to a window. Among the assortment of potted plants stands a colorful statue of Jesus, adding a spiritual element to the display. A contented cat rests nearby, adding a touch of coziness to the scene. This composition juxtaposes the prickly beauty of the cacti with the serenity of the religious statue and the comfort of the cat, creating a harmonious and visually interesting vignette.
    A close-up photograph captures an angel figurine nestled among lush greenery, including snake plant leaves and alocasias. Nearby, a potted plant sits next to a window, adorned with a statue depicting the torso of a woman. The interplay of natural foliage and sculpted art creates a serene and intriguing scene, with the angel providing a focal point amidst the verdant backdrop.
    A close-up photograph showcases lush monstera leaves in the foreground, framing the composition. In the background, a cupboard leans against the wall, adorned with numerous framed religious images. Various decorations and objects adorn the cupboard's surface, adding visual interest to the scene. The combination of verdant foliage and religious iconography creates a captivating and contemplative atmosphere.
    A tall pine tree stands majestically in the room, its branches reaching towards the ceiling. The tree is surrounded by a diverse array of plants, filling the space with greenery. In the room, there is a table and a chair, while framed artworks adorn the walls and floor. Natural light floods in through the windows, illuminating the foliage and creating a serene and inviting atmosphere.
    How do your plants influence your mood and mind?

    Knowing that my plants are doing well influences my mood. I need to know that they feel good.

    What talent would you most like to have?


    What have your plants taught you?

    Patience, a more harmonious life.

    Which living person do you admire the most?

    Beth Gibbons (Portishead).

    What words or phrases do you use most often?


    What is your most marked characteristic?


    What do you appreciate most in your friends?

    Their kindness.

    We express great gratitude to Mathieu for welcoming us into his space, and hope you find intrigue and inspiration in his approach to plant ownership and care.
    Mathieu sits comfortably on a sofa, surrounded by lush greenery. Palm leaves cascade next to him, creating a verdant backdrop. On the table nearby, a large potted monstera plant in a vibrant blue pot adds a pop of colour to the scene. The combination of natural elements and vibrant hues creates a visually pleasing and tranquil atmosphere, inviting relaxation and connection with nature.