I am obsessed with plants. Yeah you already knew that thought didn’t you – no shocking revelation there! But, what you may not know is I’m not very good at keeping them. I have every great intention of lovingly caring for my house plants, but life, time, and knowledge gets in the way. 8 times of 10, the pretty little plant dies within a couple of months.
What I need is a book that shows me how to care for these plants, one that is beautifully written, curated and photographed – like stepping through an Instagram image. Well, I found it, in this new book ‘House of Plants’.
HOUSE OF PLANTS is a practical and beautiful guide to how to love and care for your indoor tropical plants, succulents, cacti and air plants. These houseplants are handsome, hardy and perfect for urban living where outside space is often limited or non-existent. 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.
Caro and Rose, two young designers and experienced indoor plant stylists, share their passion and knowledge in the pages of this stunning book. They write:
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.
Yes! I need all of this information. I don’t have time to wade through a stuffy RHS book, I want a book that tell’s me how it is, with beautifully styled photography and easy how to’s.
Caro Langton and Rose Ray are self-taught gardeners who met at university where they studied fashion design. Both grew up with naturally green-fingered parents, (Caro just outside Birmingham and Rose in Buckinghamshire) who instilled in them a love and passion for plants. On graduating from university Caro worked in textile design and Rose began working as a set designer where she gradually learned how to transform an interior space. Hoping to turn this passion into a way of life, she sought ways to create objects for other people to enjoy in their homes.
The answer came with a visit to San Francisco’s Mission District where she immediately connected with the area’s alliance between nature and urban life. The variety of unusual flora was overwhelming as was the sense of well-being these plants helped foster in the area. Full of inspiration, Rose returned to London and began sourcing exotic plant life that, with a little encouragement could thrive within the landscape of any loving home. With their shared mantra of ‘more green’ Caro quickly joined her and they set out on their goal ‘to fill as many spaces as we could with unusual, beautiful plant life.’
It was at this time that Caro and Rose found themselves becoming the custodians of Caro’s grandmother’s house on the edge of Hampstead Heath in north London. Not only did the house have a beautiful and large conservatory which provided them with a perfect ready made work-space but it was also full of Caro’s grandmother’s ancient cacti and succulents together with a study brimming with gardening books. After much reading, observing, designing and nurturing, Rose and Caro began selling their succulents, cacti and air plants, together with the designs they had created to store and display the plants in, at Broadway Market in Hackney, London.
They formed their company Ro Co in 2014 and now supply high and concept stores and sell their products through stockists in Europe, the USA and Australia. They also take commissions to create unusual plant installations for businesses, weddings and events, hold gardening workshops around London and have recently opened their first shop in Tufnell Park in north London.
What a journey of green goodness these two have been on. I love this book so much – and now hope that I won’t kill off my green leafed babies from now on.
House of Plants by Caro Langton & Rose Ray, photography by Erika Raxworthy, is published by Frances Lincoln (£20). The book officially releases on 5th November. You can pre-order your copy here.
Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed. A UK lifestyle & travel blog
Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.