Lisa Eldred Steinkopf is known as the Houseplant Guru on the internet, where she hosts a blog of the same name and frequently writes for home and garden magazines and websites. Her latest book, Houseplant Party, is geared to less experienced houseplant lovers and those with a crafty bent. It would be a great gift for any budding “plant parent,” new homeowner or someone who enjoys decorating with plants.
In Houseplant Party, Steinkopf doesn’t overwhelm readers with information or choices. The book begins with why people love houseplants and the benefits of having plants in our homes. She highlights 16 easy-to-care-for, easy-to-find houseplants, giving their care and light requirements, and a dash of fun, historical or cultural information about each of them. The 16 plants include common houseplants, such as pothos, snakeplant, spider plant and Monstera, which is so popular it has its own hashtag on social media (#MonsteraMonday). (All of the plants listed in our post on 5 Easy Houseplants for Beginners made Steinkopf’s list as well.) Her houseplant care instructions are clear and comprehensive.
Bring on the Projects
The rest of the book covers 15 fun projects involving houseplants, including making a plant hanger from a T-shirt or macrame, creating a trellis for your indoor climbing plants and grafting two kinds of cacti together. Some are very easy (see below), while others are complicated enough to be interesting to experienced plant people or crafters, such as making a kokedama or creating shadow boxes for air plants.
Creating a Project
My 20-something daughter recently moved and expressed interest in adding a houseplant or two to her decor, so I decided to try the Haworthiopsis Zen Garden project from the book (shown above). Obviously, this is not a real zen garden, but the project seemed just the thing for a young woman working from home with a fairly stressful job.
After checking out the instructions, I went in search of a shallow planter, some succulents and decorative sand. While my little planter is not quite what the author suggests (shallow plant pots are harder to find than you’d guess and I went with aloe and echevaria instead of hawthoriopsis), I think the combination of succulents with a sand topping that she can “rake” will be fun.
The book is beautifully illustrated, and all the instructions are easy to follow. Many of the projects include step-by-step illustrated instructions, making the projects even easier.