I bought this one amidst my blossoming houseplant obsession last year (pun most certainly intended), along with a few others that focused on plant varieties and care on a more basic level. I’m not so daft as to believe my green thumb could understand the intricacies of plant biology enough to get a real gardening book, so this one is my base-level, art-filled compromise.
My Houseplant Changed My Life is the infographic version of a houseplant companion; it takes you through nearly one hundred common houseplants, how to care for their basic needs, and important or interesting facts about each. It also highlights the importance of color (particularly green) in the home, teaching children responsibility through houseplants, and how to use houseplants to improve your health and mental well-being.
The book was as I expected it to be, just not much else. It didn’t astound or wow me, but it had some great starter-knowledge and some really cute art. I guess this just isn’t the groundbreaking wonder of The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food or something, but it’s certainly not bad.
One of my biggest complaints was that it didn’t actually cover the majority of plants I have in my home. Only four of the nearly fifteen plants I have in my house made it into the book. I was hoping reading this might further enlighten me to some of the tips and tricks of the plants I have, but no such luck. In fact, the majority of the plants featured in this book, I noticed, were not pet-safe (and some not even child-safe!). I don’t actually feel like that’s accessible or makes sense for the common person looking into getting houseplants. Like, I can’t tell you how many of these had non-pet-safe notes! When I go to my local plant shop/nursery, they’re awesome about telling me which ones are safe and which aren’t. The only ones I have currently that are problems are the ones my friend has had to relegate to my care during her three month trip to Ireland – and they’re high up and away from my kitties. But regardless, I don’t usually invite plants that aren’t safe for my bajillion cats into my home, and I’m guessing most other people don’t either. This seems like a better fit for a city person, living in an apartment where they can’t have pets, than the common person who typically has a pet or child or maybe both.
Additionally, some of the pages felt repetitive in nature. It’s difficult for me to gauge how big of an issue this is because I don’t think it’s meant to be read cover to cover (which is how I read everything, of course), but I also don’t think it makes a good “field guide” type book either, because it lacks many of the basic plants not only in my house but found at shops in my area. So the repetitive nature of it was noticed by me, but may go unnoticed by someone using the book in a different way.
Cute as this book was, I was definitely looking for something *slightly* more comprehensive. I’m hoping Houseplants for All ends up being better suited to the point I’m at now with my little indoor jungle.
Have a fabulous weekend and happy spring!