The New Houseplant: Bringing the Garden Indoors

Elvin McDonald, Author
Elvin McDonald, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $40 (270p) ISBN 978-0-02-583126-1
Reviewed on: 02/01/1993
Release date: 02/01/1993
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What is new about the new houseplant? Our era, McDonald writes, ``is about breaking the sill habit and becoming a gardener indoors who seeks and experiences the benefits and rewards of gardening outdoors.'' This can be done, he explains, in many different ways--with conventional cachepots and trellises or, more intricately, with a ``closet light garden'' set up in a spare room with shelving and a few fluorescent tubes. In any case, the point is to maximize an opportunity that is not as small as it may once have seemed. And the motive for taking trouble to do all this? Limited outdoor space and a pining for something alive that will, with luck, stick around. And it's also true, as the author points out, that indoor spaces, where we spend most of our time, tend to be more polluted than the outdoor--unless plants bring aid. McDonald makes his case cogently in this long, explicit book, supplying lots of lists and suggestions for indoor gardening as a leisurely, secular redemption--although that idea might slightly shock him. Photos. Alternate selection of the Organic Book Club, the Nature Book Society and BOMC HomeStyle. (Apr.)
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