Book review: House of Plants

This beautiful book, House of Plants by Caro Langton and Rose Ray (published by Frances Lincoln), on the subject of caring for succulents, air plants and cacti in your home, is a real treasure.


You know how I quite often give review books away as part of the review post? Well, I’m not parting with this one! Ever since I made my terrarium last year, I have been wanting to bring more plants into the house, and this book is going to be my guide, I can tell, because it’s chock full of good sense. This is just the right book for you too if you are a similar stage – or it would make a fantastic gift for the gardener/house plant enthusiast in your life.

The photography, by Erika Raxworthy, is fantastic, and full of inspirational interiors as well as gorgeous plants:




I also love the illustrations, which are by Alicia Galer – they’re so vivid and fit so well with the style of the book – making an unusual, but highly enjoyable addition to what is essential a very practical guide to indoor plants.


Langton and Ray’s enthusiasm for their subject is evident – they really don’t want to you to kill your collection of succulents/cacti/airplants! There is so much practical advice here – encouraging you to really look at your home and your lifestyle and from there to identify plants which will give you a a high chance of success. The plants which they recommend are all pretty easy to get hold of too, and they give very specific advice about light, water and food requirements for each plant.


Dotted throughout the text are some fun little projects to really make the most of your plants. I love this miniature garden:


But there’s also step by step projects for making homemade pots, diy compost, making wall hangings and more.

In keeping with their enthusiasm for cacti, succulents and air plants, Langton and Ray are very keen that you should share the love, and provide a good clear guide to how to propagate the different plants. It looks like fun, and great to do with kids, because the processes (like taking stem cuttings or planting offsets) are simple, yet rather mysterious.



As usual with these gardening book reviews, I was so inspired, I wanted to get going on a project straight away (poor Sandy’s face always falls when he sees that another plant/garden book has arrived in the post for review), but I can’t always follow through with my enthusiasm because it’s the wrong time of year or some other inconvenience. Happily I could get start straight away with this one – three cacti at 99p each from the garden centre, a bag of cacti compost, some pebbles from the garden (washed and dried) and a £4.99 pot, and I as sorted. It struck me that an arrangement like this would make a rather good gift for the right person:


I loved doing it – and can’t wait to see how my cacti develop. Next on my shopping list is this fab Monkey’s Tail Cactus (Hildewintera Colademononis), which sums it all up for me because it’s beautiful and fun!


House of Plants by Caro Langton and Rose Ray  and published by Frances Lincoln is now available.

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