Book review // House Plants by Isabelle Palmer…

House Plants by Isabelle Palmer Littlegreenshed Blog

It’s not a secret, and I am sure you are already aware that I am a plant lover! Huge fan, can’t get enough of those green leafy things.  But, when it come to taking care of my green babies, my success rate is still a bit hit and miss.  Some plants thrive in my home, others much to my frustration, die within days.

In search of a good indoor plant growing guide, I discovered that Isabelle Palmer has written her third book ‘House Plants’ – Isabelle, also known as the ‘Balcony Gardener‘ knows a thing or two about gardening in small spaces, from tiny urban courtyards to introducing plants into your home.

House Plants by Isabelle Palmer Littlegreenshed Blog

The book is packed full of stunning images, helpful advice, cool DIY projects and inspiring planting ideas.

House Plants by Isabelle Palmer Littlegreenshed Blog

Space is always an issue at home, but with Isabelle’s book I can see that plants don’t need to be limited to floor or book shelf space, but instead with a bit of imagination, plants can be incorporated into all manner of rooms. I love this image of a copper hanging container with it’s trailing Hedera Helix (Ivy).  I want this bathroom and that plant!

Isabelle explains that bathrooms are ‘the most suitable place for growing an indoor plant. In fact, the warm – often humid – conditions in a bright, well-lit bathroom are perfect for growing plants, even tropical ones’.

House Plants by Isabelle Palmer Littlegreenshed Blog

Moving on from the trailing Ivy, Isabelle has added a fern to this hanging container.  Top tip from Isabelle, ‘I usually water my hanging basket outside, giving it a good soaking and then allowing the excess water to drain away, to avoid damaging the floor inside’.

House Plants by Isabelle Palmer Littlegreenshed Blog

If space and time is an issue, why not try a bowl full of succulents.  The odd shapes of succulents, the fleshy leaves, and sculptural globes make a very modern and stylish arrangement. Here Isabelle has teamed together different varieties of succulents, with gravel and pebbles to make a ‘desert’ arrangement.

House Plants by Isabelle Palmer Littlegreenshed Blog

Think outside the box when it comes to plants.  Isabelle has used moss and cloches to make an unusual arrangement.  I think this would be an amazing display at a wedding or even for Christmas.

In the book, Isabelle not only shares ideas on how to use House Plants in the home, but also what plant will thrive where, and how to look after your babies.  A big one for me, was how to look after your plants when you are away.  Isabelle suggests using a capillary matting. Which is readily available at garden centres.  To use: ‘Fill the sink three-quarters full, and dunk the matting in it so that it is evenly moist.  Then, put one end of the matting in the water and drape the other end over the draining board.  Place your plant pots on the matting. Note: this will only work if the potting mix is in contact with the matting.’

Choosing the right place for your plant is incredibly important.  Some plants prefer full sunshine, while others prefer shade.  In ‘House Plants’ there are great chapters on propagating, dealing with pests, caring for your plants, as well as planting up interesting focal points.

House Plants by Isabelle Palmer Littlegreenshed Blog

Armed with this book, I now feel confident in looking after my plants, and adding a few more to my collection.  A fern or two might be nice. Watch this space!


Collaboration Note: I was given a copy of  House Plants by Isabelle Palmer for the purpose of this review.  The book is available now. Published by CICO Books. Photography by Helen Cathcart © CICO Books.