New book!


I haven’t blogged for ages – I have been very busy, writing a book on top of all of my other work commitments. And here it is: How Not To Kill Your Houseplant, published by Dorling Kindersley.

I’ve become more and more obsessed by houseplants recently – to me, a room feels empty without one. I’ve got masses of spider plants, succulents and parlour palms, a Boston fern, an asparagus fern, several parlour palms, a peace lily, a rubber plant, several streptocarpus, some unusual pileas, an air plant and my pride and joy, a tiny Pilea peperomiodes, given to me by a colleague. I’ve even managed to get an orchid to reflower, which is suprisingly easy.

This is quite a turnaround, as for years my Mum used to joke that many of my houseplants would leave the building ‘pot first’. I think I made that classic mistake of putting plants in a dusty corner, then forgetting and neglecting them and somehow expecting them to survive.

Nowadays, houseplants are back in vogue, especially among millennials. What I love about the new wave of young houseplant fans is that they are appreciating them, celebrating them and making them a key feature of their home. I now enjoy spending a few minutes every week checking my plants over, keeping an eye out for new leaves or flower buds (always exciting), and watering and feeding them if necessary (I never used to bother feeding them, and it makes such a difference).

Many people, including my Mum, say they don’t like houseplants – I’ve got one friend who says they give her the creeps. Mum says she had Swiss cheese plants, spider plants and macrame plant hangers in the 1970s, and she’s not going there again. Mind you, she did request three succulents for her kitchen windowsill for her birthday, so perhaps she’s changing her mind. Houseplants are everywhere now – I bought her the aforementioned succulents in the supermarket (at her request!) and my local garden centre is full of interesting new plants. And plant pots have come on in leaps and bounds too – all kinds of interesting containers are available, from bronze to concrete. It’s time to give houseplants another look.