• Avant Gardener Profile: Toni Dahan

    Louisa Ben

    Meet Toni Dahan, the Parisian jewellery designer with a love for large plant specimens and the serenity they can bring.
    Join us as we talk with him about plants, their place in the home, and how one can find serenity for themselves through the rituals of care involved in keeping plants healthy.

    Has someone in your family or friend passed on their Taste for plants? How did this handover go?

    My paternal grandmother has a large park in Normandy where I grew up. It seems to me that this has influenced me from a very young age. Throughout my childhood I interacted with plants.

    Do you share cuttings with friends or family? Have you got rituals around that?

    Unfortunately no, I'm a fan of huge plants so it is difficult to take cuttings, however, I did once bring back a monstera cutting from Madeira in my denim jacket which is now doing wonderfully.

    To what extent does plant care function as a ritual in your daily life?

    It is a special event on Sundays, after my daily clean, it sincerely soothes me.

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

    Absolutely. I try to do sport only in nature, whether jogging at the Buttes Chaumont or swimming in the Mediterranean sea. I need to be surrounded by nature to relax.

    What is your idea of ​​perfect happiness? What about your plants?

    Living in nature and making ceramics with my plants, of course.
    Toni in black t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans while holding a potted monstera in his arms sitting on a chair. There is other plants around him and there is a cupboard behind him align with the wall.
    Street view photography. There are different kinds of potted plant along the street and some climb on the wall trellises.
    Toni wears a black t-shirt with blue jeans while making adjustment with the Philodendron erubescens, the potted plant.
    Toni in black t-shirt with blue jeans and a pair of black laced shoes, taking pictures with potted plants on both of right and left side. There are monstera and Philodendron erubescens while there's a cupboard sitting behind Toni.
    A potted monstera sitting in the corner on a opened cupboard with some glass bowl, plates, some wine glasses and a glass bottle.
    How do your plants influence your mood and state of spirit?

    Every Spring I grow water hyacinths and they grow very quickly. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is to go and watch them. I am always fascinated and happy to see their development.

    What characteristics of your plants might apply to yourself and vice versa?

    A bit invasive, like me.

    What talent would you most like to have?


    What have your plants taught you?

    A little patience I hope. No, I would say serenity. I am a very fast moving person and they let me take a break.

    Do you eat or cook any of your plants?

    No, except my pot of basil but my Parisian kitchen does not allow me to make culinary miracles.

    Do any of your plants have a particular use?

    No, except to relax.

    Which living person do you admire the most?

    Marina Abramovic.

    What words or phrases do you use most often?


    What is your most marked characteristic?


    What do you appreciate most in your friends?

    Their listening.

    Do you have a favourite phrase?

    Our only thing in common is our difference.
    Toni is misting the Philodendron erubescens that sit on a chair in the corner of the room. He is wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans and a pair of black shoes and there are some windows and a bed in the room.
    Toni wears a black t-shirt and blue jeans having a photoshoot with his plants - monstera and Philodendron erubescens while standing in front of a cupboard.
    Toni holds a potted Philodendron erubescens in the corner of the room and have a photoshoot with it.
    A potted Philodendron erubescens sits on a chair in the corner of the room while there are windows and a bed on the wooden floor.
    A propagation plant sits in a glass jar with water on the table while there's a table lamp, books, objects and a phone.
    We express profound gratitude to Toni for inviting us into his home, and sharing a small piece of his personal world with us.
    Toni wears a black t-shirt, jeans and a pair of black shoes sitting on the chair while holding a potted plant in his arms and being taken a photo with it. There is a potted Philodendron erubescens next to Toni while there is a cupboard behind him as well.