Book Review: Not another jungle by Tony Le Britton

The subtitle of this new book from Tony Le Britton is 'comprehensive care for extraordinary house plants' and this indeed what this book delivers.  This is not your standard 'how care for houseplants book'.

I have not paid for this book nor have I been paid to write this review.  My words and opinions are my own.

This book is amazing and is written with expertise and love.  This is a book for the obsessive plant collectors amongst us, the people who want that plant just out of reach, who want that plant that apparently grows happiest in a sandwich bag on a windowsill and that want to spend more money on a plant than some others of us would.  If you recognise yourself in this description then this book is definitely for you.

Tony tells us he is a plant-obsessive and his love of rare house plants has led him to change his career.  He now owns a shop selling plants, funnily enough called 'Not Another Jungle' and that many of these plants he propagates himself.  Indeed on the section about propagation he tells us that in order to fund an expensive plant habit it is useful to grow ones you can easily propagate and sell on to fund your buying habits.

As you would expect if you are spending money on rare plants you are going to need to know in detail how to care for them.  This book talks us through light (strength and colour), fenestration and fertiliser.  You will learn about pests and diseases, watering and humidity.  I enjoyed the myth busting chapter in particular as many of the myths that are debunked are the ones that I have believed for many a year; I am happy to have them found false.

There is a very important section at the back of the book about buying responsibly.  Tony is very aware of the damage that plant-poaching can have on our environment and that stripping plants from their natural habitat is a dangerous thing for the plant and for our environment.  I have to admit, I thought this chapter so important that it could have been one of the first in the book. 

I love this book, it goes into great depth and yet is accessible.  The photographs by Jason Ingram are of very quality, they are beautiful and complement the text perfectly.  I did google a few of the plants featured, I might have gasped at some of the prices they are currently being sold for yet I know that I will spend on a plant that I really want (she says looking out of window at the tree ferns....).  I would be cautious though on spending on the more complex of these plants without fully understanding how to look after them; which of course is the point of the book.  Tony tells us that buying in person from trusted sellers is often best so I guess I will have to wander along to his shop one day.

This is a great book, Tony shares his enthusiasm with us for growing extraordinary plants with success.  I can happily recommend it.

Not another jungle by Tony Le Britton is published by DK Books

Take care and be kind.

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