Paris’s neglected potted plants have their own “hospital” | News from the world


When workers in Paris returned to their offices after the coronavirus was locked out, they discovered that the crisis had caused unexpected collateral damage… dead and dying potted plants.

For eight long weeks while everyone followed the strict order to stay at home, the ferns and indoor figs, philodendrons and rubber plants were left without water, without care and above all forgotten in the frame larger of a deadly pandemic.

Consequently, when the delivery was lifted 10 days ago, the offices and apartments abandoned by the owners of a second house who had left town, were full of plants that had a foot in the compost bin.

Now, an enterprising company proposes to save, replace and revive the troubled greenery.

Merci Raymond, whose goal is to make cities greener and greener with plants, has set up a “hospital” to revive the weed flora.

Hugo Meunier, founder of the company – named after his 87-year-old farmer grandfather – said that the plant hospital offered to “buy” the sick greenery, mainly for a symbolic sum, so that they can be saved.

“Originally we planned to collect them, but there was such a response at the factory hospital that we had to set up collection points,” Miller told The Guardian.

“If it’s a factory that has value, we will pay more, but often it is a nominal amount, and we offer to replace them at a reasonable cost.

“Obviously, people had much more important things to worry about during the lockdown, but it’s depressing to come back and find the plants dying. And it’s psychologically good for people to think that we’re going to try to do something for the plant, “he added.

Meunier said those who had sick plants were asked to submit an online form and he and his colleagues would try to revive them with “water, care and sun”.

Meunier launched Merci Raymond five years ago after completing his studies in Paris. Growing up near Toulouse, he said he liked living in the capital but thought city dwellers needed more nature and countryside in their daily lives.

The company currently has 20 employees and collaborators and has been involved in numerous ecological projects in France, including a great greening of a housing estate in one of the troubled Parisian suburbs. The Grande Borne project, inspired by a similar initiative in Detroit in the United States, involved residents in workshops and the creation of shared community gardens and allotments.

“I am proud to think that we are contributing on a small scale to the green revolution movement in our cities,” said Meunier.


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