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,Ā 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.


20 thoughts on “New book!”

  1. I was just thinking you’ve been quiet lately. Congratulations on the new book – it looks great and it’s sooooo trendy and timely. I read a few weeks ago that the average size of a garden is now just 14 square metres, so there must be plenty of people with no garden at all. Therefore it makes sense that houseplants are in the spotlight once again.

  2. Congratulations! This is such a timely book as more and more people embrace the houseplant trend. The level of care and attention they need is often not as time-consuming as it may seem, and there is such joy in seeing them thrive by your own hand! Thanks very much for all the work you put into this!

  3. Congratulations on your book! It looks fabulous and trendy, and is so inspiring! Being a translator and a keen gardener, I have the priviledge of translating it into Finnish – this is such a fun translation project. šŸ™‚ Have a lovely summer!

    • Hi Maria, wow, I didn’t know it’s being translated into Finnish! It’s quite repetitive so hopefully it won’t be too laborious! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me via the ‘Contact me’ button. Enjoy!!

      • Thanks, I do have some questions, but the ‘Contact me’ button on top of the page does not seem to work…? Well, I was really only wondering how much I’ll have to modify some of the care instructions. In Britain, the tap water tends to be hard, doesn’t it? In Finland, we have soft or really soft tap water almost everywhere. Also, Finnish houses tend to be quite warm in winter (around 21-23 ‘C), so the rooms are hot and dry, not cool and moist like often in Britain. This is, of course, quite a challenge for many houseplants. šŸ˜‰ Window sills tend to be above radiators, so they are dry and warm places for plants, not cool/draughty. The third issue is that we have very little light in the winter – so I’m wondering if the instructions about north-facing windows apply here (e.g. maidenhair fern).

  4. Hello dear,
    How’s you?
    It’s been such a long time I know, but I have been so busy Veronica you wouldn’t believe it. Since the last time we spoke I have been around the world 3 times. Anyway just a quick note to wish you a very happy birthday and please feel free to come round and take photos of my overgrown bush any time you like.
    With love, Mrs Coates

  5. Just checked out your book here at my local library in Utah. Iā€™m absolutely in love with house plants now! I never really gave them much thought before but now I want to replace all my artificial plants with real ones. I love gardening but our big snowy winters leave us with several months of freezing and snowy temperatures so your book has just inspired me to become an indoor gardener! Thank you for your awesome book, I hope I can own my own copy someday.

    • Thank you for taking the time to track me down and tell me that you like the book! That has made my day. I really think that living plants make such a difference to a room, so it’s great that you’re thinking of replacing your artificial ones. And they are great in the winter, too – they give us that feeling of lushness that we can’t find outside. Happy indoor gardening!


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