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The Unexpected Houseplant: 220 Extraordinary Choices for Every Spot in Your Home

Articles: The Unexpected Houseplant: 220 Extraordinary Choices for Every Spot in Your Home

What I loved most about The Unexpected Houseplant, Tovah Martin’s smart, stylish book on indoor gardening, is the focus on “real plants.” And therein lays the crux of the “Unexpected” in the title. This is not about nursing a spindly, static, spider plant like the one you had in college. This is actual gardening that shifts with the seasons.

Martin preaches the power of plants indoors. A “confessed missionary” touting the emotional and healthful benefits of “intimacy with nature” in our homes, she’s out to convert the indoor gardening skeptic. That would be me.

I am not a fan of houseplants. Where others connect with nature in the off-season by tending parlor ferns and wandering vines, my indoor surfaces display seedpods, cones, the occasional rack of antlers, and a particularly significant hummingbird nest.

Previously, my indoor gardening efforts have focused on triage: clumsy attempts to shelter plants through a season far outside their native comfort zone. At best, my results have been stoic survival—but more often than not, a string of botanical dead bodies is all I have to show for my stab at “overwintering.” But after reading The Unexpected Houseplant, I’m willing to...

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Spring 2022 Public gardens play a key role in demonstrating naturalistic planting design, selecti… READ THE WHOLE STORY Join now to access new headline articles,

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