Gaby Slappendel

What is possible with books, is also possible with plants. Here and there, in villages and cities, libraries are set up, not containing books, but plants. Gaby Slappendel, a Food Innovation & Business student at the HAS University of Applied Sciences in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, also opened one at her school. “A so-called plant library is easily accessible, even people who are not really into plants stop at the library and are curious.”

Because the school is closed due to the corona crisis, the cuttings are rooting at the homes of Suzanne Bos and Emma Castelein, two students of Environmental Management at HAS University of Applied Sciences, who recently took over the plant library from Slappendel. Slappendel has almost finished her studies and therefore recently passed the baton to these two students. “Fortunately, the cuttings are now being taken care of by Suzanne and Emma. I will continue with it from the sidelines, because I want to further spread the idea.”

Creative working atmosphere
Multiplying plants and sharing them with others is also a sustainable hobby. The aim of the plant library is to make everyone’s home greener. Slappendel: “We spend a lot of time indoors due to the corona virus. We study and work at home. Plants provide a creative working atmosphere and clean air. Ultimately, I think that if you have a lot of plants in your home, you will appreciate nature more.”

The concept is simple: if you take a cutting, you put a cutting back next time. There are a few rules of the game: the plant that you put back is healthy, with roots and provided with a container. In addition, you must leave a note with the name of the plant, the date of placement, your study and year and possibly your contact details or Instagram account. “Many young people are lonely because of the corona crisis. This gave us the idea to let people put their data on a card. This way, we hope to connect students and keep them in touch with each other.”

Plant lover
Slappendel does not call herself a huge plant connoisseur, but two names of plants that are popular among young people roll right out of her mouth: the Scindapsus and the Chinese Money Plant. “But keep your cat away from the Scindapsus, because it is poisonous to cats. We therefore ask everyone to put on the cards whether the plant is poisonous to pets.” You can call her a plant lover, because her house is becoming increasingly crowded. “I am trying all kinds of fruit seeds. The kernel of a mango has grown into a plant of half a meter and my passion fruit plant even produces fruits.”