Plant Society: Create an indoor oasis for your urban space
By Jason Chongue
Plant Society: Create an indoor oasis for your urban space begins with the author’s gush of appreciation for the plants he had around his house growing up, his appreciation for the global and generational plant community, as well as his appreciation for the positive effects plants had on his partner. Gushing with passion, from the introduction it is clear that Jason has put dedication, love, and lots of research into his gift for current and future readers. He expresses how he wishes there were more time to gather the plant wisdom the previous generations have.
In his book, he has given readers his contribution to the transcription of plant knowledge by wrapping his years of experience and investigation in plant care into an easy-to-read, aesthetic, bundle of plant passion.
Throughout the book’s neatly organized pages simplifying topics such as plant lingo, plant tools, and how to re-create your plant’s ideal habitat, Jason includes interviews of fellow plant lovers to focus on certain members of the world’s “plant society”. Reading these pages felt like having a relaxing conversation with old friends about their plant struggles, hopes, and experiences. Christina Symes, one of the plant society people featured, expressed “I love that plants play a huge role in creating our happy space; they are the final touch that ties everything together and they help lift the whole energy in each room.” Her comment resonated with me as this lifting of energy through the creation of tiny plant paradises is my main motivation for my own plant journey.
As someone who is new to developing her own blissful planty utopia, I loved Jason’s chapter on styling with plants. He explores concepts like using plants to soften the hard surfaces and edges of homes. He uses plant tools such as this brass plant mister to add to the aesthetic of his home instead of just storing plant tools away. I even learned about plant tools I hadn't thought about owning before. One example is a metal soil scoop, which holds more soil at one time making repotting plants easier.
Jason makes plant styling easier by giving specific plant styling tips for specific rooms. For example, I learned using smaller plants on tables combined with larger plants near the windows and backyard door leads the eye to the outdoors, magnifying your space in a method he dubs "bringing the outdoors in". In an office setting, he recommends suspending plants from the ceiling in neutral colored pots to enhance the workplace. One of my favorite examples of his use of plant styling is when he used the plant textures of different houseplants to soften a graphic rug.
I recommend reading this book when you have a relaxed moment to spare, available to take in the artistic images bundled in Jason’s corner of the plant world.
Plant Society reminds you of the community you join when you begin to learn and care for your own plants. To encourage current and future plant society members, this book is like having a fellow plant friend on your shelf ready to help you in your own plant journey with info on:
Plant info 101: Choosing the right plants, plant tools, and plant term glossary
Indoor plant care
Propagation basics and techniques
Identifying and treating plant issues
Styling with plants (my personal fav <3)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A Melbourne-based architect, Jason Chongue began his plant journey as a young boy in primary school when he brought home a lamb's ear in a tin.
In August of 2016 he started The Plant Society along with his partner Nathan Smith. They dub their organization to be a "plant social network" which serves to nurture and preserve plant knowledge as well as rare plant species.
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