Green: Plants for Small Spaces, Indoors and Out

Jason Chongue. Hardie Grant, $23.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-74379-554-5
Chongue (Plant Society), director of the Plant Society design studio, shares his vision for how to “nurture greenery” in small city spaces in his aspirational, somewhat disappointing guide. After assessing “space, sunlight and the level of maintenance required” for different urban gardens (such as balconies and courtyards) and underused indoor opportunities (such as staircases), Chongue makes recommendations for plant combinations; provides styling tips; gives advice on sowing seeds, propagation, pruning, and repotting; shares recipes for natural remedies for diseases and pests; and refutes “common plant myths” (such as “some plants thrive on neglect”). Chongue also shares stories about his own urban gardening problems and successes in his own home, and profiles a handful of other “Plant People” from all over the world. Trained as an architect, Chongue demonstrates a sensitivity to space and form in his suggested arrangements, though the book’s layout feels cluttered, with too many small photographs and tiny captions. The writing also skews toward the precious, overrelying on the word “curating.” Chongue’s book ticks off all the boxes for an urban gardening guide, but fails to put a unique stamp on the form. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 11/01/2019
Release date: 04/01/2020
Genre: Lifestyle
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