Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

My Houseplant Changed My Life: Green Well-being for the Great Indoors, by David Domoney

June 8, 2021


I am perhaps the absolutely most unlikely person to check out this book. I am pretty much whatever the opposite of a plant whisperer is (a plant shouter?). Despite my best efforts – and recommendations from others for plants that are impossible to kill – no plant lasts very long under my “care.”

This book inspired me though! In part because it had good information to help me decide which plants might be more suited to my environment (places in my house or at work), and more suited to my actual potential (admittedly low, but with the right match, maybe higher).

Domoney’s detailed descriptions of what each plant needs are paired with the benefits of each plant for humans and our surroundings. For example, the Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata – if you like that sort of thing). “This is probably the toughest houseplant you can buy – it’s low maintenance, tolerant of neglect, and a hardworking air purifier. It also has an interesting form, with its upright swordlike foliage and fascinating variegated leaf markings, that will provide a positive mental distraction from your worries.” Sounds like it was made for me! The simple two-page spread has four brief tips to help the plant thrive (position, potting, growth rate, and care) and four other facts to help you take care of the plant and about its benefits. After an introduction about the benefits of houseplants on our well-being and our living spaces, each plant gets its own two-page spread with this simple, easy to use and refer to format. It’s really a usable book and fun and interesting to browse through even if you don’t decide to bring any plants into your home.

Plants I’m considering as a result of looking at this book: The Snake Plant (obviously), Velvet Plant, Sword Fern, Joseph’s Coat (mood-enhancing beauty, symbolizes change), and Zebra Plant. Most of these clean air, have striking foliage and/or color, don’t get huge, and are a bit less fussy about watering and fertilizing. One that I’m definitely not going to get but was so odd and unfamiliar to me is “Living Stones.” I probably should get one since you don’t even water it at all from early fall to midspring!

I mentioned inspiration… The introduction includes reasons why to consider bringing plants into your indoor environments. One of these is “A sense of achievement: Plants can boost self-esteem. To see a living thing thrive thanks to your care and attention evokes a feeling of pride. And success in the form of propagation or seeing your plant flower releases serotonin, another hormone that lifts and stabilizes your mood.” I don’t even think I would need to see propagation or flowers (in fact I mostly looked at plants that don’t flower) – I would feel successful just to have the plant live longer than six months.

I haven’t gotten any plants yet, but will keep you posted if I do! Find this book in our catalog here.

Books about houseplants and how to take care of them on Hoopla:
All titles
Happy Houseplants
What’s Wrong with my Houseplant
Pocket Guide to Houseplants
Handmade Houseplants: Remarkably Realistic Plants you can Make with Paper

The Pruning Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You’ll Ever Face; Answers to Every Question You’ll Ever Ask by Lewis Hill, Penny O’Sullivan

April 5, 2017



Very helpful! I started knowing little about pruning, and I have a new large garden to care for at my new home. I feel much more confident about the process thanks to this handbook– it explains pruning in the context of plant structure and growth in a way that beginners can wrap their head around while also going into the details that can back up more experienced gardeners, landscapers, and arborists.

I got this out from the library over the winter (available here) and am going to buy a copy to hang onto for easy reference this spring. A bonus– the author is one of our library trustees here at Wiggin! She is so helpful and always willing to answer questions from our community.

Also available on Hoopla!