Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Plant By Numbers


Mossy Falls (Steve Asbell)
 Most people have at least one or two houseplants plopped here or there in their homes. In his new book , Plant by Numbers, though, Steve Asbell demnstrates  how to put houseplants together to make living arrangements. Think of it as a "container" garden for indoors. Use houseplants like you do your spikes, geraniums, and ivy as your "thriller, filler, and spiller". It can be difficult to put plants together that have the same water and light requirements, but in this book, Steve shows us how to do just that. It is as easy as A, B, C!

Femme Fatale (Steve Asbell)
 We've all had one of those dish gardens given as a gift or from a funeral, at one time or another. Those small plants become huge and quite often high light plants are planted with low light plants or moisture loving plants with cactus. Also, they never have drainage holes. We are set up for failure from the beginning. 
The first part of the book deals with the basics of plant care. How much light do I have?- or not have? How do I raise the humidity? How much space do I have? What is the average temperature in my home? How do I plant my container and keep it looking good? What kind of soil do I use for the plants I am using? How do I handle problems that come along, like insects and diseases?
The second part of the  book is where the fun begins. Steve gives you the recipes for making the containers. The recipe includes the shopping list with common and botanical names of the plants. If you can't find the specific plants he recommends, he has alternative options for you to choose from. How could you fail?


Pink Limeade (Steve Asbell)

 Steve likens these houseplant combinations to "works of living art. Colorful plants are your palette, with patterns, textures and shapes. But what really makes painting with plants exciting is having the opportunity to work with a growing and changing medium." 

Jungle Glow (Steve Asbell)
  If you don't find a combination you like, Steve has lists of plants that you can pick from according to the conditions you have in your house. I love these lists! A few examples are edible houseplants, trailing and vining houseplants, lime colored plants, silver plants, pink plants, plants for low light, plants that like it sunny and dry, or sunny and moist. He has a list of plants for every condition you can think of. He also tells you to listen to your plants. Growing healthy plants depends on being a good listener. Visual cues are yellowing leaves, dropping leaves, and pests. You need to pay attention to these things and deal with them immediately. If you have to let the plant go, don't beat yourself up. It happens. 
Lime and Coconut (Steve Asbell)
 So, if you've had bad luck with houseplants in the past, don't wait to read Steve's book. 
And that's where the best part comes in. I am giving away Steve's book, right here!  Leave a comment below telling me your favorite houseplant and why.  Then, on April 15, yes, the dreaded tax day, I will pick a winner with random.org.  I figured we could use something good to think about on tax day. Entries must be received by 8 pm April 15. I will contact the winner via email and if you do not respond within 3 days, you forfeit the book and I will choose someone else. Remember to leave your e-mail in the comment so I can contact you. Thanks! 

22 comments:

  1. Love plants and books....a good way to improve my plant collection around the house

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  2. I usually don't like to read plant books as much as you do Lisa, understatement, but I am excited for this book! Then I will have to come to your house and steal some of your plants.....

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    1. You can steal anything, but not the plants! Lol!

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  3. Hi my name is Rhonda, I would love to own this book...so kind of you :) I love house plants and have several that I've been collecting them this year. My favorites are african violets, orchids & my peace Lily although I love a variety I don't turn one down :)

    my email address: nailsbeatiqued@yahoo.com

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    1. I forgot to say that I love african violets because they are small but yet gives off some amazing flowers that puts a smile on my face when they bloom. Orchids makes me think of sophisticated ladies they are so elegant and dainty. I love the green leaves of the peace lily with long lasting blooms.

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    2. I love African violets and orchids, too! Of course, I love all my houseplants!

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  4. Okay, I forgot to say what my favorite houseplant is! My favorite is all of them. My violets keep me busy, my orchids love neglect and keep blooming and my Christmas/Thanksgiving Cactus/Cacti seem to always be in bloom. Throw in a large Norfolk Pine, some venus flytraps and some variegated pothos and there is always room for more.

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  5. Well your probably going to laugh at me but I love spider plants...I am great with veggies but not so great with houseplants and spider plants are beautiful and virtually impossible to harm! Would love to win this book! Thanks for the opportunity!

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    1. There is nothing wrong with loving your spider plant. I like them too! And they are great at cleaning the air! Bonus!

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  6. Looks like a good book. Great prize. Thanks for the opportunity. By the numbers orchids win. I have eight. But the crown of thorns, Euphoribia is the oldest by far. And I have had one since '72. (It finally died and I bought four more to replace it.) Okay, I can't pick one. Four different dragon trees...

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    1. Haha! I couldn't pick a favorite, either! Love them all!

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  7. Love gardening and houseplants, Mother Nature's air fresheners. Wonderful blog and happy to have found you!

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  8. I have always grown house plants one variety per container This idea of combining plants sounds fun! Right now my favorite is a variegated ficus tree.

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  9. PS I also like seasonal house plants. Minirose{at}comcast{dot}net

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  10. My favorite houseplant is Sansevieria trifasciata (mother-in-law's tongue). I can't kill it. I tried, but it didn't die. So I threw it out a window into a neglected flower bed and it took over. Turns out it works indoors and outdoors. My insurance agent told me it's great passive home protection under windows since it grows so tight together and tall. Who knew?

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  11. Hi Lisa,
    I just picked up a Croton plant in a 4 inch pot doing well so far! Love the colors and the way the leaves move upward at night. Nicknamed the praying plant.
    Coming in second is a spider plant that was given to me as babies has grown very large but it has no babies yet…Lisa love your collection of plants!
    Thanks for the chance to win:)

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  12. Hi Lisa,
    Out of the small collection of houseplants my favorite is the Croton, love the colors and the way the leaves move upward at night. Nicknamed the praying plant.
    Thank you for the chance to win!

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  13. Lisa, I'm in a Begonia phase. I've got to order more! Susan

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  14. Hi Lisa,
    Favorite is Croton..Thanks for the chance to win!
    Angela

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  15. Trying again Lisa! Begonias are my favorites> Susan

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