House of Plants is a book for cacti and other succulents, air and tropical plants lovers.
Written by Caro Langton and Rose Ray, it offers a range of styling ideas, easy to follow projects and, most importantly, page upon page of advice to keep your favourite plants alive.
The Basics – Knowing your Plants
From understanding the plants and their species, to maintaining them and creating a nurturing condition at home, House of Plants, goes into depth for each one of these areas:
Buying. Ever wonder how and when you should bring your plants home? It’s very important to check the label before simply picking it up and carrying it away from the store, especially in the winter and if it’s sat outdoors when, if it’s a cacti or other succulent, it could have been damaged.
Conditions at home. Recreating a plants natural habitat can be difficult. Take air plants, for example, which demand a good flow of air between their leaves whilst certain metals can even be toxic to them. Thus, creating the perfect conditions for your succulents, air plants or tropical plants can be very particular and this book shares tips and ideas on how to create your very own botanical haven.
Maintenance. Many of the mentioned plants above are low maintenance but they still need some looking after. Luckily, this plant-bible goes through…
- pruning and care
- ailments (pests, wilting, shedding, discolouration)
- and even dividing and sharing your plants with others
Types! The writers talk about the different species, listing out their names. They also warn of obsessive cacti collections and they’re not wrong. My mother, being a florist and a lover of succulents, has her lounge full of these beautiful succulents.
Botanical Styling Ideas and Photography
The book doesn’t lack inspirational images. Photographed by the very talented Erika Raxworthy and illustrated by Alicia Galer, the pair come together in an intertwined love for these particular plants.
There is a whole sections on vacant corners to help you bring your space to life. One of the suggestions is to bring a rubber plant, which I once had at university myself but it got so big and tall that I had to get rid of it. It’s a shame because if I knew more about pruning or re-potting back then I could have easily saved it.
Other suggestions included the work desk. I liked the nod to plants being a ‘distractor’ and although most recommendations are low maintenance it’s good to see that their appearance alone is mesmerizing, to others and not just myself; for it comforted me to know that I wasn’t the only soul staring at these companions.
Fun Projects with Plants
Homemade compost (page 91) – perfectionists get a hard time but if it means that your favourite plant not only survives but thrives in its environment then it was all worth it. These compost recipes provided will help with just that.
Handmade Terrarium (page 67) – like the one I made myself below, the book has a guide for a tropical glasshouse. With hints and tips you’ll be able to create a very large terrarium which is easier to look after than a potted plant. I can’t wait to make another!
Grow your own avocado, mango or lychee (page 120) – although the project may take a few weeks, what’s more satisfying than growing your own life? I’m certainly inspired and plan to plant an avocado pit imminently.
Forage objects to hang your air plants (page 176) – I found a personal favourite project and that’s to go looking for driftwood to upcycle into an air plant hanger. Quirky and hands-on, that’s definitely up my street 😉
House of Plants is definitely a must-have for starting a plants collection. No matter what your favourite species, it’s sure to grow it as well as share it. Get your hands dirty whilst reaping in the satisfaction of home-grown life.
So, tell me. What do you think of succulents, air plants or tropical plants? Share your collection with me in the comments below if you have one, I’d love to see it.