Landscaping Indoors: Bringing the Garden InsideWhy grow just a few lonely houseplants when you can transform your living space into a lush indoor garden? Fill a Wardian case with your favorite ferns and orchids. Grow an indoor orangerie or bamboo grove. Or how about a spectacular water garden for the great indoors? This groundbreaking guide tells you everything you need to know to design, plant, and maintain a beautiful indoor landscape. You'll never look at houseplants the same way again!
- Introduction: Living with Plants, by Scott D. Appell
- Indoor Landscape Design
- A History of Landscaping Indoors, by Scott D. Appell
- Four Indoor Garden Designs, by Bill Shank
- Wardian Cases and Terrariums, by Scott D. Appell
- The Epiphyte Tree, by Ellen Zachos
- Water Gardening Indoors, by Scott D. Appell
- Plant Specifics
- Palms in the Parlor, by Tom McClendon
- Bamboo: Graceful Grass or Jungle Giant?, by Susanne Lucas
- The Indoor Orangerie, by Tom McClendon
- Cacti and Other Succulents, by Julia Solarz
- Gods and Monsters: The Genus Ficus, by Scott D. Appell
- At Home With Ferns, by Mobee Weinstein
- More Indoor Landscape Plants, by Scott D. Appell
- Growing Tips
- From the Ground Up: Soil Mixes and Fertilizers, by Mobee Weinstein
- Water, Water Everywhere, by Ellen Zachos
- Let There Be Light, by Ellen Zachos
- Biological Pest Control in the Indoor Landscape, by Shila Patel
- For More Information
Introduction: Living with Plants
by Scott D. Appell
We have become a nation of savvy gardeners, indeed! Over the past decades, devoted amateur horticulturists have successfully executed some remarkable gardening feats: we landscape and plant our own property, grow and force Belgian endive destined for our dining table, cultivate and utilize astounding arrays of edible and medicinal herbs, and we employ sophisticated plant propagation techniques—all outdoors.
But what about gardening indoors? What has happened to the ubiquitous houseplant? For the past forty years, successive generations of apartment dwellers and garden-less homeowners have had ample opportunity to get inspired by a multitude of gardening columns in the daily papers, an ever-growing supply of plant-related books and periodicals, as well as groundbreaking TV and radio programs. But there is still one major flaw: all along, houseplants have been relegated to the windowsill, or perhaps treated as botanical specimens that had to be cultivated beneath cumbersome, unattractive artificial lights.
With the help of potted houseplants, this dining room has been transformed into a lush indoor landscape. [Photo: Victor Schrager]
A sad fate, in view of the fact that wonderfully challenging and unconventional ways to cultivate houseplants existed more than 150 years ago. Unfortunately, the techniques of the time have been all but forgotten, relinquished to the horticultural archives. One purpose of this handbook is to rekindle an interest in those wondrous, forgotten contraptions and Victorian esthetics—combined with modern sensibilities and budgets. It is possible to live surrounded by potted plants, creating a warm, temperate or tropical environment inside—without the luxury of a greenhouse or garden room!
Due to a lack of adequate natural ambient light, most homes will require artificial lighting to accommodate an indoor landscape away from the windowsill. The products enabling this venture have evolved greatly within the past few decades, allowing us to remove houseplants from cramped windowsills, dispense with unsightly light hoods, and create pleasing interior designs using various methods of illumination. Modern indoor gardeners can choose from a greatly expanded repertoire of tropical or temperate plant material, and are able to rely on safe, chemical-free, biological pest control techniques.
Expand your mind and esthetics. Peruse this handbook, enlarge your houseplant collection—and grow along with it. You will never look at houseplants the same way again.