A follow-up to the widely popular Flower Recipe Book , The Plant Recipe Book is the next great thing in interior plant design, providing simple steps showing anyone how to create stunning living plant decor. Each one of the 100 "recipes" specifies the type and quantity of plants needed; clearly numbered instructions detail each step; and 400 photographs show how to place every stem.Read more...
A follow-up to the widely popular Flower Recipe Book, The Plant Recipe Book is the next great thing in interior plant design, providing simple steps showing anyone how to create stunning living plant decor. Each one of the 100 "recipes" specifies the type and quantity of plants needed; clearly numbered instructions detail each step; and 400 photographs show how to place every stem. Traditional pots and plant containers are used, but so are less conventional vehicles and methods, like shutters and planting under glass. A basic how-to chapter provides planting techniques, a tools and materials list, sourcing and plant care information, and expert advice.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-03-17
- Reviewer: Staff
For those who like their gardens small, contained, restrained, and delicate, Chapman’s new book will be cause for celebration. Container gardening has gained an enthusiastic following, but this book takes it to a micro level: tabletop containers. The book’s generous number of color photos (400) indicate in detail, right down to the roots, what horticultural ingredients combine effectively to create a sustainable and stunning tabletop display. The book also offers clear direction on where to position plants within the container for greatest effect. Beyond the plethora of plant choices that fill the pages, the grittier elements are also included in the “recipes,” such as container dimensions and soil amendments. The horticulture is daring and innovative: for example, in Lichen Recipe 3, two types of orchid, a variety of air plants, and a large lichen-covered branch, are all displayed in a “container” of squares of sheet moss. This is a great addition to the library of any gardener; those whose tastes incline toward the small will find this book positively transformative. (Apr.)
Lifestyles: Bookish inspiration
Many of us find inspiration for our next craft or art project online, but image-centric sites like Pinterest, where the image source is often lost in a trail of missed links, can feel more like a closed loop than an open field. Transfer those retrieval skills to a library catalog, and suddenly the field is endless. Libraries are full of inspiration and solid sources, and there’s a new book that tells us exactly how to mine them: BiblioCraft: A Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects, by librarian and DIY-er Jessica Pigza. The first half of the book shows some of what library collections can offer, old and new, and where to find it all (with digital collections open 24/7). It also reminds us about local library events, where we can meet authors, join a craft circle, take a workshop. The second half documents 20 lovely paper and fabric projects by artists, paired with the objects that sparked the artworks, such as coasters that pay tribute to Japanese heraldry, a table runner that mimics 19th-century illustrations of meat cuts and a marbled fabric pouch from a collection of book endpapers.
DECORATE WITH PLANTS
Baylor Chapman’s The Plant Recipe Book is not a cookbook. Rather than a how-to for meals, the step-by-step instructions show how to assemble “100 living arrangements for any home in any season.” The A-to-Z plant list includes about 40 species that can typically be found in local shops, grocery stores and discount chains, along with straightforward maintenance instructions—the easiest being for bromeliads, aka air plants, which don’t even need soil. Four hundred delicious color photos convince readers of the book’s big idea: that plants are cheaper than flowers, last longer and can be endlessly reconfigured to suit a mood, room or event. Each species is shown “On Its Own,” “With Company” and decked out for a “Special Occasion.” Here is the trio of presentation options for an ordinary Kalanchoe: singly in a length of copper pipe; poised with air plants and a begonia in a vintage pedestal bowl; and fluffed with pink cyclamen, elephant ears and other succulents in an upside-down bronze light fixture.
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
In The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects, master carpenter Spike Carlsen shares 76 plans “for making a self-sufficient life easier and better organized.” Some prior experience with construction is useful, but Carlsen urges beginners to start small and get to know the tools, materials and techniques before tackling, say, the Modular Shed or the Animal Shelter.
Not everything involves wood: Anyone can create the Flowerpot Smoker, Concrete Planters (from 5-gallon buckets) or the Lawn Bag Stand (out of PVC pipe). Many projects are possible for even city dwellers without a backyard, but most assume space and need for things like produce racks, raised-bed gardens, compost bins and rain barrels. I’m particularly pleased to see projects that help two threatened critters: bees and bats. The basic Top Bar Beehive will help beginning beekeepers get started, and the large Bat House (better than the ones sold at garden centers) might encourage insect-eating—and endangered—bats to hang around. Includes good lists for recommended reading and resources.