My friends over at Artisan Books sent me a copy of Baylor Chapman's gorgeous book entitled The Plant Recipe Book so I could take a peek. (While they did send me the book for free, the opinions are my very own…just in case you were wondering). Now back to the book: it is filled with gorgeous photos, inspiring projects and completely do-able instructions. I was so excited about all the possibilities that I drug my family all over town hunting for unusual planters.
The book guides you in planting 40 popular, easy-to-find plants on their own, then proceeds to arrange that same plant type “With Company,” and then reveals some show-stopping “Special Occasion” recipes. Some traditional vessels and methods are used, but so are less conventional ones, like window shutters, wooden boats, and planting under glass (perfect for coffee tables). The transformation of everyday household objects into containers is ingenious: think light fixtures and tote bags as pots, and upside-down jars as terrariums. And because they are living and durable, they can serve statement pieces that can decorate your home for months or even years.
One of my favorites is an arrangement that appears to sit directly on the table. Genius. I cannot wait to whip that one out for a dinner party centerpiece. I'm also going to try the living wreath that I've been intimidated by for years. This book definitely gave me a boost of green-thumb confidence.
I realize that using containers that are meant to be planters--like the cute wall planters above--isn't the most groundbreaking discovery. But I've never dared to decorate with plants because I kill everything I touch. And a wall full of dead plants isn't very pretty. But I'm giving it a go here, because I love the texture and dimension it gives the space. (This space is in my living room, and is part of a different project I'll be revealing later on this week).
The Plant Recipe Book would also make a fantastic gift, while we're on the subject. Perfect for Mother's Day, hostess gifts, housewarming, etc. It would also make a beautiful coffee table book. I'm still in search of the perfect coffee table…but once I find it, this book will definitely make the cut. Even better: give your mom the book AND make her a spiffy arrangement for Mother's Day. Chances are your mom is better with plants than I am, so she'll be able to enjoy her gift for a very long time.
You are a genius. I love your work; and I'm sorry my sad arrangements are even in the same post as your beautiful work. I'd love to take a class from you next time I'm in the Bay Area. It's quite obvious that some additional instruction wouldn't hurt me. But until then, I'll keep trying. And next time I'll follow the recipes a little more closely. xo