Not that long ago we spoke to the girls behind Brussels-based greenery collective Seeds about the very first steps of their initiative. A lot has happened in the meantime: Seeds’ plantswap events have become a regular fixture in the Brussels cultural scene, recently celebrated its first birthday, and last month the plant-obsessed trio decided to bring their successful concept all the way to Paris.
Happy birthday! You celebrated your first anniversary earlier this year – happy with how everything developed?
Yes! We are very proud and happy to see the project continue and grow. Print, color and textile designer Cécile Barraud de Lagerie joined our team, and we have been developing really beautiful workshops for both children and adults. Plus, we are starting a number of new collaborations, for example with Quartz Ceramics.
Plantswap events seem to have become the central activity of your project, correct? Why is that?
We wouldn’t call it the central activity but it’s definitely a popular aspect that has helped us to make a name for ourselves, which allows us to collaborate on a more regular basis with new structures (BRASS since a year, Point Culture since October 2016), collectives and artists. We want to host different creative workshops, but always related to nature.
How did you get the idea to bring it all to Paris?
Giada moved to Paris in October and while exploring the very rich Parisian socio-cultural scene, she thought it could be a good idea to launch Seeds there too. Andrea knew someone who works for Le Bumplab, a really interesting project combining local food, architecture, design and art. They suggested we could host a plantswap there, and of course we agreed immediately!
Was it more difficult or easier to attract a crowd there? How did everything go?
Brussels is very close to Paris. We all have a lot of contacts and friends there, and Cécile is actually French! This made it quite easy to attract people and spread it from the usual “word to mouth” technique. Of course Paris is way bigger than Brussels and people are a bit lazier to go to more unknown venues outside of their local neighbourhoods, but we managed to get a good and happy crowd. People seemed very enthusiastic to discover the project. As there are very few plantswap events in Paris, many were already looking forward to our next one. It felt like a very good start and we are looking forward to more!
Did it feel different than your events in Brussels?
No, not really. Good vibes, a nice crowd, people who take their time and stayed several hours to talk and meet new likeminded people just because they like the cosy and genuine atmosphere that our plantswap events create. And this is exactly what Seeds aims to do: create social interactions through free plant exchange afternoons.
You were pretty much a pioneer here in Brussels, what about Paris? Is there already a “scene” there?
Yes, indeed, in Brussels we were the first ones to organize plantswap events, and we saw that now more have started popping up. We’re not exactly sure what the landscape in Paris is like, but judging from peoples’ reactions who were very curious and excited it seems like it is not part of the mainstream just yet.
Can you recommend any plant shops or plant-related spots (parks, urban gardening etc) in Paris?
“Jardins et collections” at 100 boulevard de Belleville is a beautiful shop that is not exactly cheap, but you can find very gorgeous and unusual plants there. There’s also a really interesting urban gardening project called “La Sauge”, and the botanical gardens at “Le Jardin des Plantes” are of course a must-see. We also really like the collective space “Les Grands Voisins”, which features a very cute plant shop called “Mama Petula”. The projects hosts many different structures in one place, which all have one common goal: working towards the well-being of our community.
What are your future plans for the project, and will you spread out to even more cities?
We want to continue our plantswap events, collaborations and creative workshops for children and/or adults in Brussels and Paris. We are planning on teaming up with Les Grands Voisins and La Sauge in Paris, which are projects that share our values, which is very important for us. And we are very happy to host our first big Seeds event at Le Point Ephémère in Paris, featuring not only plantswaps but also creative workshops, educational permaculture and gardening conferences, a vintage plant book sale, a special green brunch, and much more!
Seeds’ next plantswap events:
Sunday, 20 November at La Vallée, Brussels
Sunday, 27 November at Le Bumplab, Paris
Sunday, 22 January at BRASS, Brussels
15 January and 19 February at Le Point Ephemère, Paris