A Guide to Indoor Gardening: Our Review of Living With Plants

updated May 3, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Leonie Freeman)

Living With Plants is one of those books I wish I had read before I went out and bought a ton of plants years ago. The result of my over-excitement at the time lead some of them to an unfortunate end. This is one of those books I’ll likely reference for years to come, not only because of its useful information on caring for my plants, but also for its beautiful photography, effective styling tips, and the handful of DIY tutorials accompanied with easy-to-follow instructions.

Living With Plants is a rather simple read that features essential information on caring for indoor plants. It highlights various indoor plants options, tools and techniques, care and styling tips, plus a bunch of DIY tutorials. A book on plant care isn’t anything new (I have a bunch of recent titles sitting on my bookshelf), but what I loved about Sophie Lee’s
Living With Plants is how easy it is to follow and the simplicity of the tutorials, which are especially helpful if you’re just dipping your toes into indoor gardening. However, the book includes in-depth tutorials for those of us with older and sizable plant collections. The book covers — via detailed and illustrated guides — repotting, watering, troubleshooting, and propagating (something I’ve yet to do, but now I feel inspired).
(Image credit: Leonie Freeman)

Everyone has their own way of enjoying design books, but if you’re like me, I typically like to take a weekend morning and read it from cover to cover, adding bookmarks to pages with inspiring photos or tips. While there is no shortage of beautiful photography and interesting content in Living With Plants, the way the book is structured is a little confusing. It’s split into five chapters, which seems easy enough to follow, but the table of contents doesn’t list them and the content and tutorials are somewhat out of order intentionally. Ideally, I’d like to see the DIY projects in one section, but the author chose to sprinkle them throughout each chapter.

(Image credit: Leonie Freeman)

This book makes a great addition to any design-lover’s library for the photography alone. While I wish it showcased plants inside people’s homes, the styling of each vignette is inspiring and showcases tips that anyone can use. The chapter on plant styling really could have showcased more photo examples, but instead provides readers with three pages of text and tips. One challenge when bringing plants into your home is achieving balance and a harmony in a vignette, but there are plenty of pretty examples in Living With Plants.

(Image credit: Leonie Freeman)

If you’re just starting to dabble in house plant care or have an extensive collection, Living With Plants is a great read. Each page showcases beautiful photography and provides common and unexpected tips to help your indoor garden flourish. I especially found the illustrations on plant care useful, and the DIY tutorials are easy to follow (though I think we’ve all seen our share of macrame and terrarium tutorials). I’ll likely spend the next few days rearranging my house plants based on some of these tips, and likely reference the pages of this book for more inspiration in the future.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Hardie Grant Books)

More Info:

Living With Plants is published by Hardie Grant Books (2017)
• Find Living With Plants at your local bookstore, through geo-fleur or Amazon
• Sophie Lee’s website and blog | Leonie Freeman’s website

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the book for review purposes.