There are those who collect coins, stamps, miniatures or even champagne capsules. And there’s Sébastien Comte. This 37-year-old from Strasbourg is more naturally connected. In his 45 square meter apartment located in the city center, he lives surrounded by a hundred green plants.
“Honestly, it’s been a while since I stopped counting. But I need to have about 150 plants of different varieties. It’s crowded “, he explains jokingly. Small or large, exotic or local, common or rare … Most of his plants are installed in his living room. Some are in his room, others on his terrace.
A great investment of time … and money
If Sébastien Comte often works on a whim, he has also compiled an accurate list of the plants he dreams of owning. “I have already bought many from other collectors. My most expensive and rare plant cost me just under € 150. » Owning such a collection requires a real financial investment. In addition to the price of the facilities, he had to invest in appropriate equipment. Special lighting that compensates for the lack of sunlight, heating mats for exotic plants and humidifiers. My apartment is dry and it is not good for tropical plants. »
But his biggest investment is probably the energy he spends taking care of all that vegetation. “I water and dust very often because the dust prevents the plants from breathing properly. I also check that there is no disease, I remove the dead leaves … “ It takes him between four and five hours a week, minimum. And when spring comes, it no longer counts its hours. “ It’s time to remodel so my living room turns into a construction site and I spend my days there. » At this time of year he spends between 200 and 300 € for the maintenance of his taxes.
passionate from an early age
Between Sébastien and his plants, it is a love story that has lasted a very long time. The one we call “plant dependent” has been passionate since childhood. “I grew up in the country, and I made garden very early with my grandparents. I have always had this connection to the country. » In late high school, he began training as a gardener. “It was clear I could not see myself doing another job. » He then graduated as a florist after four years of study.
The 30-year-old remembers his first plant, a cactus, as if it were yesterday. “I must have been between 12 and 13 years old. I forced my parents so much that they ended up merging and giving it to me. ”, he laughs. But the florist did not immediately start his collection. “When I lived with my parents, they held me back. They did not want me to have too many plants in my room. » As soon as he moved into his first apartment, he let go. Until you have created this incredible collection.
“I stop when I have no more space”
Today, Sébastien Comte has a hard time finding work in the sector he is passionate about, he says Strasbourg news who went to meet him. He has been looking for a job for two years. On a daily basis, his plants give him a lot of peace. “When I take care of them, I am in my world. I have no more worries. “, he tells us. All this vegetation also allows him to escape. “It’s an invitation to travel. When I get home, I feel like I’m in a jungle in the United Statesequator. »
And when strangers discover his little apartment filled with greenery? “The first reaction is surprise. Then they usually like it and say they’m fine here.” Strasbourgeois are happy to share his passion. He created an Instagram account specifically dedicated to his plants. He presents his different varieties and shares his tips for caring for them. With 150 plants already in his 45 m², he plans to stop there? ” Absolutely nothe replies with a smile. There are still a few rare plants that I would like to buy. I stop when I have no more room … “