Wild Interiors by Hilton Carter

I enjoyed Wild Interiors far more than I thought I would. I used to follow Carter on Instagram until I realised all he talked about and photographed was a fiddle-leaf fig over and over again and so I stopped. This meant that I did have some idea of what I was going to read about when I picked this book up but found that I enjoyed it more than I thought. (His instagram posts are much more varied now!)

The first section was interesting, showing 10 places that inspire him – Kew Gardens, the Barbican Conservatory and the beautiful Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. From these you get a sense of his style; jungly, green, large plants all beautifully arranged. Following this were the next top 10 ‘It’ plants none of which I have although I did like the Watermelon Begonia (Peperomia Argyeia) and Calathea Orbifolia.

The largest section in the book is a look inside 12 people’s flats and houses and how they use plants. The themes that come through are lots of windows and light, white walls or wallpaper with leaves on, natural materials with lots and lots of wood and of course plants. Hundreds of plants in some cases all beautifully arranged in stunning rooms. It is an aspirational/inspirational section of the book.

The final section is ‘Your Plant Journey’ and gives more ideas room by room with a few pages on Plant Shelfies.

The purpose of this book is to inspire you to have more plants in your home and to enjoy caring for them and arranging them. It worked for me! I have a few plants around the house but from this book I can see that they might look better grouped together and more! I need more! The shelfie section really interested me because I have a LOT of bookshelves, all covered with books, but of course I could find some space on them for a few plants. The one place that does need dressing in my house with plants is the fireplace. I am going to start there. I am also going to find out about the plants I do have and the conditions they prefer. I have definitely got some that are not too happy and may prefer to be elsewhere.

I have given this book 4 and a half stars rather than 5 because there was just too much talk about plants being your children and Carter’s belief that we all need a plant throne – that is a some sort of seating surrounded by plants. His writing style was fairly informal in places – as if he was on Instagram – and I recognise this as a style choice but it isn’t for me in books.

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