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October 24, 2016 —

91 is reading… House of Plants

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There is certainly no denying that house plants are having a BIG moment. Interior magazines, blogs and books are full of amazing spaces decorated with greenery, from large Monstera plants to mini cacti. But decorating your home with plants is a bit more of a commitment than your usual ‘trend’. And as I have found out, even those plants that are supposedly ‘easy’ to look after, still need a certain amount of knowledge and attention to make sure they thrive. 

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So I was literally thrilled to hear that Caro and Rose of London plant shop Ro Co have published their first book together – House of Plants. it is a comprehensive guide to living with and caring for succulents, air plants and cacti.

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A mix of beautiful photography and botanical sketches illustrate the book, making it a feast for the eyes, while the informative and practical writing feeds our brains with the knowledge we need to *hopefully* succeed at even just the most basic of plant care. I also loved reading Caro and Rose’s story of how they got into the business of houseplants, and a bit about their background.

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It starts off with general notes on plant care, from watering and pruning to common ailments, focusing on the different groups of plants – cacti and succulents, air plants and tropical plants. Then moves  on to more advanced activities such as repotting and propagation. 

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Throughout the book, a collection of DIY projects are scattered amongst the practical content, instructing on how to craft a macrame holder, make a concrete pot or even mix your own homebrew nettle fertiliser! 

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The second half of the book has more of an inspirational slant, with Rose and Caro sharing ideas on the best types of plants for the best spots within your home. Whether that is a bright window, a workspace or even a strange surface (!), they then give specific details on the ideal plants to help you make sure they do well in these spots. As well as some lovely styling, this section also has some stunning botanical photography of individual plants.

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I particularly enjoyed the section called ‘Little Hands’ – a nod to how having plants in the home can be beneficial to your children. My 2 year old loves to help with watering, and it’s a nice idea to give slightly older children one or two plants of their own to teach them about caring for another living thing. 

What’s lovely about this book is that it is not only a reference book, one that will always be a constant source of assistance, but it also has genuine warmth in the writing and a sense of true creativity and love for what they do. With this on the shelf, my houseplants can have faith that they may actually live to see another day! 

House of Plants by Caro Langton & Rose Ray is published by Frances Lincoln (£20). All photography © Erika Raxworthy.

Order a copy here.


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