Photograph © Kindra Clineff/The Indestructible Houseplant
"For all the folks who hankered for houseplants, but didn't know where to start, and for all the people who picked up the wrong houseplant and thought its hasty demise was their fault, this book is for you. We are going to make houseplants happen, and your life is going to be transformed."
Tovah Martin from the Introduction to The Indestructible Houseplant
I picked this book to review, because I knew you are going to like it.
Honestly, if you have been on the fence about keeping plants in the house, thinking they were too old fashioned, too difficult or too much bother, this book is the inspiration needed to change your mind.
There is, of course, no such thing as a truly "indestructible" houseplant. You can kill any plant if you try hard enough! The two hundred indestructible plants in this book are ones that are going to prosper and look beautiful even in the face of some neglect and less than ideal conditions.
The book's layout is well conceived. Each plant has its own chapter of information and a handy chart that offers a summary of key points such as light exposure, soil type and potential problems. The last item in each chart is a helpful list of possible companion plants.
"The Details" at the end of the book addresses important consideration such as light and humidity. There is helpful advice on watering, pruning, fertilizing, dealing with pests and repotting plants.
What I liked best about this book is that it made me want to expand my collection of houseplants.
I have always tended to put one plant in a traditional pot and call it a day. Now I see how boring and uncreative that is! I love the book's examples of plant combinations in interesting and quirky pots. Rest assured I will be searching garage sales and local flea markets this summer to find a few stools and plant stands like the funky ones I see in the book.
This next book is less glossy, but I chose it because it would be a really handy reference to have in your home library.
What's Wrong with my Houseplant © Copyright by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth. All rights reserved. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher.
Last year I had a pest problem that I could not get under control. I ended up composting a bunch of the most badly affected houseplants. I wish I'd have had a book like this to help me confirm the identify of the culprit and figure out a solution to my problems.
What's Wrong with my Houseplant? opens with similar information regarding houseplant care and then profiles 130 indoor plants. There is information on light, temperature, water and humidity, potting medium, fertilizer and propagation that is intended to help you avoid problems in the first place. Each profile ends with a summary of common issues each plant experiences.
The final part of the book covers organic solutions of common problems. Some of the pictures of bugs and fungi are cringe-worthy, but they are bound to be a great assistance in helping you identify a problem and find an organic solution.
The Indestructible Houseplant at a Glance:
Book Author: Tovah Martin
Photographer: Kindra Clineff
Publisher: Timber Press
Pages: 288 pp.
Images: 165 color photos
What's Wrong with my Houseplant? at a Glance:
Book Authors: David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth
Publisher: Timber Press
Pages: 304 pp.
Images: 245 color photos
Thomas Allen & Sons has kindly given me copies of the each book to give away. Because I will have to send these books through the mail, I will have to limit entry to readers in Canada and the USA.
Please leave a comment if you would like to be included in the book draw. The draw will remain open for the next 7 days. If you are not a blogger, you can enter to win on the Three Dogs in a Garden Facebook page. Please make sure there is a way for me to track down your email address should your name be drawn.