Book Review: House of Plants
Just as I was beginning to reconcile myself to the fact that I can’t have house plants at home, along comes a book that tells me I can. House of Plants by Caro Langton and Rose Ray is a practical and beautiful guide to how to love and care for your indoor tropical plants, succulents, cacti and air plants. In other words the kinds of plants that thrive when nothing else will. And the kind of plants that even I couldn’t possibly fail with.
These houseplants are handsome, hardy and perfect for urban living where outside space is often limited or non-existent. It even documents the plants that will thrive with very little light which is my main problem. All in all, this book is a comprehensive and straightforward companion, showing both the aspiring and experienced plant enthusiast how to nurture, share and enjoy these wonderful plants, as well as how to stylishly arrange them in the home, identifying the perfect plant for the perfect spot. And the photography by Erika Raxworthy is truly inspirational.
Now for the science bit – this book covers…
• How to look after individual plants, running through the soil, watering, light, food, pruning and cleaning
for many popular species such as the Monstera, Fiddle Leaf Fig and Echeveria as well as some of the more
unusual species including Fishbone Cactus, Xerographica and Monkey’s Tail.
• How to take cuttings to share with friends.
• Inspiring creative projects including planting up a terrarium, making a macramé hanging planter and
homemade concrete pots, as well as compost and fertiliser recipes.
• How to care for ailing plants.
• What to do with your plants when you go away on holiday.
• The best indoor plants for children and those with limited time and funds.
‘To watch another living thing flourish is rewarding, and we have come to see many of our plants as prickly pets, each with their own distinct personality. One miniature succulent might show its bulbous leaves suggestively at the slightest nudge, while another will sit for years inspiring cool suspense before one day bursting into bloom, making you drop your toast in delight and alarm. It is this unique charm that makes plants a pleasure to live with, but knowing how best to tend each one can be a little daunting.’ Caro and Rose.
Now, I’ve never before considered the air-plant to be a thing of beauty, but this book has changed my mind. Along with all my other pre-conceptions about looking after plants. So, if I’m willing to give this rewarding hobby another go, I hope you will too.
House of Plants by Caro Langton & Rose Ray is published by Frances Lincoln (£20).