Robin Stockwell * Oxmoor House * January 31, 2017 * 288 Pages
Advanced Reader Copy provided through Amazon Vine.
I’ve been learning more about gardening lately, educating myself on different plants, how to plant them, how to make them look good in containers, etc. I like working with succulents because they look cool and they’re hard to kill.
This book is both gorgeous and extremely helpful if you want to learn how to grow and display succulents. The first part (about 125 pages) shows a bunch of different beautiful gardens, mostly for inspiration–though author Robin Stockwell also points out different design elements and planting tips for making your own succulent arrangements as attractive as possible.
In the next section, Stockwell gives directions for easy (“easy”) succulent arrangements, including: vases, wedding bouquets, place settings, garden art, seasonal decorations, wreaths, and so many more. In the third section, Stockwell lists 203 of his favorite plants (arranged first by use–like containers, shade-friendly, etc.–and then alphabetically), with page numbers if you want to see pictures of each plant within the book.
The last section talks about planting and caring for succulents–so how to get started, what soil is best, how to water the plants, how to divide them and protect them from weather, stuff like that.
This book is an amazing resource. I love how Stockwell tells you exactly which plants are in his arrangements; he even describes them by color, so it’s easy to identify them in the photos. (Maybe pros will find this annoying, but, as a beginner, I am grateful for the clarity.) Plus, he shows so many plants and gives a lot of good information on how to take care of them. I mean, this isn’t just another coffee table book (though it does look stunning); this is a practical and comprehensive planting manual.
One thing to be aware of… All of the homes featured in this book are located in California, and most of them (but not all) are ultra modern. Since I live in the Midwest and am not going for a modern look at all, I’ve had to adjust my plantings accordingly. But still, I have learned so much from this book and keep referencing it again and again for advice and inspiration.