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Happy Plant Owner

Tim de Broekert’s green sweetheart

Happy Plant Owner

Words by Georgie Sinclair

Photos by Maxime Cardol

Tell us about your work in the world of plants and flowers

On a personal level, I just really like plants! I love how they can tie a room together and they give me a lot of peace. On a professional level, I’m the community manager at de Gezonde Stad. It’s a community platform for sustainability in Amsterdam, and one of our big topics is focused on making the city more green. We try to innovate green in the city by developing green rooftops, and parks and so on. Besides that I run a farming initiative called Stadsboeren. We have several gardens in the city in which we grow food together with locals from the neighbourhood or with refugees in the Bijlmerbajes. Not only do we grow vegetable plants but also plants and flowers. I’m really interested in how society evolves. Sustainability is very much the topic of this time, and I want to contribute to that.

Tell us about your favourite plant

It’s a climbing philodendron (Philodendron Scandens), more commonly referred to as a heartleaf philodendron or sweetheart philodendron. It’s a tall plant that grows around a pole and has big leaves with many different shades of green.

Why is it special to you?

It’s a climbing plant, so metaphorically speaking it’s always reaching for new opportunities. If you move the pole or stick it’s growing towards higher, it will keep reaching higher. I like that way of looking at it: you’ve got to reach for new opportunities, and my plant does exactly that. It also has a nice aesthetic, and beauty in life is important I think.

Where did you meet?

We ran into one another in a plant shop on the Haarlemmerstraat and it was love at first sight. I was already looking to fill in an empty corner in my living room, so it was good timing.  

What’s the funniest thing your plant has seen?

He’s witnessed a few house parties of mine. I’m sure a bunch of people have tried to have a dance with him.

What kind of care does it need?

He needs attention once a week, so not a lot. Too much water will drown him.

Do you have a history of killing plants?

I’m quite good at keeping plants alive. I’m a loyal person, so I think there’s a chance we’re in for a long-term relationship.