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March 02, 2020

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One of our favourite product areas as a team of avid readers is the books we regularly update in the online shop. We want to use this love for reading to help inform customers better about why we stock certain books and why we chose particular titles. We love a lot of these books and want others to as well.

So with that in mind, in the newsletter, on social media and here on the blog, we will be featuring different groups of book each month, and drawing your attention to titles that we currently stock. As a shop with limited space and capacity, we cannot physically stock as many books as we would like (and trust us, we would like to stock a lot). Focussing in this way means we can get a sense of what books our customers are interested in too and we can reorder particularly popular titles. Some titles though might not be reordered in order to allow us to rotate and respond to demand. Being able to provide an array of titles that shifts seasonally is one way we can keep things interesting and engaging both for you and for us.

A set of hanging shelves, with healthy plants on all shelves along with some books, a ukulele, a microscope and a vase filled with spindles

This month, it’s all about house plants. As we head towards longer daylight hours here in the UK, our house plants will start growing, shifting and no longer being quite so dormant. We know many of you want to finally be able to keep a plant in the house without killing it. We’ve curated a selection that should respond to that and will be sharing useful information we’ve gleaned from our book inventory. There’s also a selection around styling and enjoying your plants, including titles like Modern Macrame that show you how to make a plant hanger. Amateurs, adventurous plant parents alike? We’ve got you covered.

A white skinned hand holding a book called the New Plant Parent over a table covered in greenery.

How many of you want to be better plant parents? The turning point in our house came when Ysolda and I read @houseplantjournal’s book all about caring for your plants. What really clicked was a watering regime that worked for us, our house and our plants. Now we have “plant Sunday’s” where we check how they’re doing, possibly shuffle some around for better light (there’s incredibly useful info on this too) and see who needs watering. I even got brave enough to prune the Monsterra at last! Best tip ever though? Aerating the roots with a chopstick before watering. 

We've had trouble keeping The New Plant Parent in stock - if you are interested, please use the notification link on the product page - it will give us an idea of how many copies to buy but also means you will receive an email once we do have it in stock.

Image of a white skinned hand, holding a small plant. To the left, a book called House of Plants is visible, to the right, a black cat is sniffing the hand.

Do any of you have an air plant? When I moved to Edinburgh, I brought a tiny one with me that a friend had sent as a gift. In her low light cottage down south, it hadn’t really grown but since moving north and reading up on this fun, free standing beauty, it’s doubled in size! I found all the information needed in @studio.roco’s House of Plants book. It covers air plants, succulents and cacti extensively and accessibly. Inquisitive cat optional.... 

Image of a book called Root, Nurture, Grow on a table with some potting supplies and a potted plant next to it.

Do any of you take a cookbook to bed, keeping it on hand to read over and over again? Well, Root, Nurture, Grow has replaced even Anna Jones on Kate’s bedside table this past year. This beautiful book from @studio.roco is full of guidance for propagating house plants. All the plants in this picture started life as a little cutting from another: succulents, cacti and even the pretty umbrella plant. We are quickly putting up shelves to make room for all these plants and gifting them to friends and family regularly. If you’ve ever wanted to double your bounty, this is absolutely the book for you. 

Image of a book balanced on the edge of a metal sink. Surrounded by plants. The book is called Prick.

Succulent parenting can be really fun- some give babies (or “pups”) at a fantastic rate but up until now, things have been a bit hit or miss with success rates in our house. A big turning point was reading up in Prick about all these little ones we’d brought home. I mean, who can resist them when you see them out and about but then slowly watching them die is a cycle worth breaking right? We started learning their preferences and sure enough, less casualties! I mean, it still happens but with reassuringly less frequency. Pick up @prickldn’s cacti and succulent guide in store now.

Future focus plans include International Women's Day related books in March, an overview of some of the Knitting Traditions covered in stock, our kids books... Please let us know if you think there is a gap in our selection (Don't say cookery books, we have resisted so far! There are so many, they are so beautiful!)

Kate O'Sullivan
Kate O'Sullivan



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