Potted History: How Houseplants Took Over Our Homes (Paperback)

Potted History: How Houseplants Took Over Our Homes By Catherine Horwood Cover Image
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In this fascinating book we learned how potted plants are as much subject to fashion as pieces of furniture. For the Victorians, it was the aspidistra in the front parlor, the Edwardians loved a palm, and, for today’s millennials, no home is complete without the ubiquitous fiddle-leaf fig. This book show that there is little new when it comes to plants in the home. In the mid-18th century, Wedgwood created a market for special bulb pots and in the 1950s, some of Terence Conran’s earliest designs were for houseplant containers. Across the ages, the choice of potted plants has been influenced by the layout of houses, the levels of dirt and pollution and the equipment to hand. Now, with so much choice, we seem happy to treat houseplants as disposables. This book gives a better understanding of the miracles that were once achieved with indoor plant displays, inspired by Sir Hugh Platt’s 1608 vision of a garden ‘within doores’. This new edition has been revised with new material added to bring the history of the houseplant and its massive explosion in popularity right up to date.

About the Author

Catherine Horwood is a social historian with a passion for plants and gardens. Her book, Beth Chatto: A Life with Plants (Pimpernel, 2019), was enthusiastically received. Fergus Garrett called it ‘a triumph ... beautifully crafted by an author who has thoroughly researched and understood her subject’ (Gardens Illustrated) while the Evening Standard chose it as ‘A Gardening Book of the Year’, saying it was ‘one of the most intimate gardening biographies yet written’.

Praise For…

“This delightful and impeccably researched history claims a place on the crowded gardening shelf …Highly recommended to all armchair or actual gardeners interested in the history of gardening.”—Library Journal on Women and Their Gardens

"Catherine Horwood's book is a triumph, beautifully crafted by an author who has thoroughly researched and understood her subject. From start to finish, this publication gives us a real understanding of Beth's life. There is so much here to keep the reader gripped." –—Fergus Garrett, Gardens Illustrated on Beth Chatto

"Before Instagram loved houseplants, Catherine was telling the story of them...this is the essential tome for tracing the fascinating history of our obsession with indoor jungles. A must-read for any fan of bringing the outdoors in." —Alice Vincent, Author of Rootbound: Rewilding a Life

"One of my favourite books on gardening." —Christopher Woodward, Director of The Garden Museum, London

"The author is a consummate garden historian with a talent for storytelling. This work reflects her considerable skill."  —The English Garden

"Anyone who is interested in houseplants will find this book fascinating. Anyone interested in social history will find this book equally impelling. I thoroughly enjoyed it." —Blackberry Garden

"A fascinating history of the houseplant that looks at how plants have been used inside the home through the centuries from as early as the 1600s…a thought-provoking read." —Gardens Illustrated

"This book embarks on a journey through 400 years of changing fashions...well researched...and an enjoyable read." —The Professional Gardener

"Catherine Horwood... has found that rare thing: a genuinely new subject in interior design." —Ros Byam Shaw, World of Interiors

“Readers seeking an academic but accessible take on the relationship between houseplants and social history will enjoy this book.” —Library Journal 

Product Details
ISBN: 9781910258941
ISBN-10: 1910258946
Publisher: Pimpernel Press
Publication Date: March 4th, 2021
Pages: 176
Language: English