Rather fittingly, Denae Mardon was born and raised in The Garden State of America – New Jersey, to the uninitiated – but has called Dubai home for four years. Denae’s green fingers have graced the sandpit with its first ever curated plant shop, The Habitat within Boston Lane, Al Quoz, last year, and is now permanently based in Home & Soul on Al Wasl Rd.
The Habitat is a #plantinspo Instafeed come to life – all millennial-pink walls and perfectly potted succulents. The best bit? Denae’s eminently ’grammable selection is as reasonably priced as it is well-edited, so no more having to shell out upwards of Dhs600 for a cactus that’s only marginally bigger than your thumb.
Speaking of thumbs, we asked Denae how hers got so green: “Some of my fondest memories are of playing among my dad’s tomato vines and getting covered in dirt while helping him plant and pick vegetables from his garden,” she told Grazia. “They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and it’s definitely true in my case.” A gardening pun! Our girl crush just bloomed even bigger.
“I love where the world is headed when it comes to all things artisanal,” she says. “Our generation appreciates a personal touch and we’d much rather support a small business run with passion than a big corporation that cares more about profit than it does people. Plants represent all that is natural, beautiful and simple, and I think that’s what we’re yearning for.”
So what if, like us, you could kill a plastic plant, given half a chance? “A lot of people over-water, killing plants with too much love! Stick your finger 3cm into the dirt and if it feels dry, give it a drink. Do it in the morning with room-temperature water; they don’t like cold. And if you don’t have much time, low-maintenance plants like the rubber plant are super-easy to care for and even remove toxins from the air! Another that thrives almost anywhere is the heart-leaf philodendron.” We feel more in touch with nature already.
Photos: Instagram and supplied