Harmony in the Garden Blog

Decorating with Plants – book review and giveaway

I first met Baylor Chapman almost a decade ago when researching gardens for my first book, Garden Up!  (remember seeing these beautiful succulent shutters, below?  They’re Baylor’s.)

I’ve since written about her floral design studio, Lila B. Design, and the fantastic community courtyard where she lives (click on the links to read more.)

Well, when I found out Baylor had a new book coming out, Decorating with Plants:  What to Choose, Ways to Style, and How to Make Them Thrive, I was thrilled not only for myself but for my daughter, Emily, as she has recently shown an interest in houseplants.

A few months ago Emily moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco and has since been focused on decorating her new, beautiful apartment and realizing that its’ not complete without a few plants.

Let me get this straight – my daughter lives just a few hours from me now (hooray!) and wants to learn more about plants ?  Pinch me!

So, of course, the day we helped move her in, I had to whisk her away to Flora Grubb Gardens to show her the coolest nursery in town.  And, as if that wasn’t enough inspiration for Emily, we were also invited to Baylor’s book launch party in San Francisco.

Of course, I had to drive down for this event.  Not only to support Baylor (that’s her in the photo on the right) but to be honest, it’s not every day a mom gets to show off her ‘cool friends’ to her daughter.  And yes, I’ll admit that my coolness factor rose a few rungs on the ladder that day!

It was a perfect early spring day in San Francisco – ideal for a garden party.

Needless to say, Emily was hooked with no chance of return.

I bought a copy of Baylor’s book after having first promised to give it to Emily after I read it (btw: that’s Emily on the left, trying to steal my book.)

Hmmm, now that I think about it I’m pretty sure she’s never even read one of my books!  Oh well.  At least Baylor’s book worked its magic on converting my daughter into a full-fledged garden lover. 

Heck, Emily even volunteered to go on a Mother’s Day Garden Tour with me last weekend -with seven gardens, no less – but more on that later.

I’ve now read Decorating with Plants cover to cover, and can wholeheartedly say it’s my favorite houseplant book ever.  Why?

For one reason, her photos are inspiring, clean, crisp, and doable in a sense that anyone of any level of gardening experience can achieve a similar look.

Simply put, Baylor’s design aesthetic is current, elegant, contemporary – a breath of fresh air.

The book begins with a ‘Getting Started’ section, ideal for beginners, thoroughly explaining the basics of houseplants.

Moving on to the next section is Baylor’s ‘Go To Plant List’, where she details 28 of her favorite and easiest houseplants (how to take care of them, ideal growing conditions, and interesting tips and facts for each plant.)

Armed with knowledge about what houseplants will thrive in your home, the next section of the book is ‘A Room-By-Room Guide’.

Using more inspiring photos, Baylor walks you through various rooms of your home to demonstrate different ways you might use plants to enhance the room’s decor.

Trust me, after reading this book you’ll never look at your home the same.

In fact, I was so inspired by Baylor’s examples that I’ve taken photos of various rooms in my own home that I’ll use for reference the next time I go to the nursery to shop for houseplants.


……………………………………..Giveaway Time! …………………………………..


UPDATE:  Congratulations, Jenny Houser!  You won a copy of Baylor’s book (I’ve just sent you an email).  Thanks for submitting your comments, everyone, they were all so nice to read.

Oh, and Baylor left a comment for you all, as well!   Here it is: 

Goodness, gracious, Thank you, Rebecca, for the oh so lovely post. I LOVED that you and your daughter attended the party – and am tickled that we’ve been in contact so many times since that first visit many years ago. THank you for all the good stuff you share with your readers – and your clients. You make a lot of people smile. And WOW, thank you for all the kind words, everyone. It was a real treat to hear about your love (or your kid’s love!) of plants and to see some familiar names too. Cheers to growing plants and sharing beautiful news. – Baylor

Baylor Chapman has generously offered a SIGNED copy of her book to one of my lucky readers.  To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below – it’s as easy as that!

And please remember that even though I can’t respond to giveaway blog comments (if I do, it’ll skew the random number generator I use to pick the winner), please know that I read every one and appreciate what you all have to say!

The Fine Print:  A random winner will be chosen by midnight May 28th, 2019 and contacted within 24 hours. If the proposed winner forfeits or does not claim the prize by June 1st, the prize will be re-awarded based on the sponsor’s sole discretion. All prizes will be awarded.

Please provide your first and last name to enter this contest so I can immediately contact you if you win. The winner agrees to allow his/her first name to be mentioned in conjunction with this giveaway.

This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, who are over the age of 18 years old. No purchase necessary to win. This sweepstake is also void where prohibited by law (wherever that is, I’d sure hate to live there!) and by entering this giveaway, you agree to these conditions.


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Please leave a comment below


  • Goodness, gracious, Thank you, Rebecca, for the oh so lovely post. I LOVED that you and your daughter attended the party – and am tickled that we’ve been in contact so many times since that first visit many years ago. THank you for all the good stuff you share with your readers – and your clients. You make a lot of people smile. And WOW, thank you for all the kind words, everyone. It was a real treat to hear about your love (or your kid’s love!) of plants and to see some familiar names too. Cheers to growing plants and sharing beautiful news. – Baylor

  • ooh, I would love this book. I have always wanted to have houseplants but so far had no success in growing things indoors despite great success outdoors. So, pick me, pick me. LOL

  • Slowly beginning to add houseplants to my living room – two pothos and one jade! Would love to learn more from Baylor’s new book!

  • My outdoor garden is brimming with wonderful plants, but inside I haven’t grown anything since I had a massive hanging fern in my studio apartment in San Francisco in the ’80s. It’s about time I learned how to bring some green indoors! Thanks for your enthusiasm and inspiration, Rebecca.

  • How inspiring! I’ve always been afraid of killing poor houseplants. Those photos are just gorgeous—maybe I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing Rebecca.

  • A go to plant list is always a plus and a room by room guide. Sounds fab. I love the bond you and your daughter are now starting to share over plants. Gives me hope!

  • Hi Rebecca,
    Love your blog, and would love to win your favorite houseplant book.

  • Just finished building a new house so this book would be helpful. Glad to see you doing well.

  • Plants are so much more fun when they’re shared! My garden is full of passed down plants from generations of women in my family & my husbands. Now I’m beginning to pass down plants to my daughter-in-law.

  • Hi Rebecca,
    This sounds like a great book. I am wondering if she talked about “Z” plants. They are my all time favorite and I can’t have too many.
    If you buy them small they are not as expensive but they grow pretty fast. They do not need too much water and they are very artistic. Hopefully she included them in the book. Kudos to you for sharing your friend and her book and I am so glad your daughter is now into house plants. It will not be long and she will give you ideas for your garden!

  • I could use the help in finding out about additional plants to use inside house.
    Frieda Hixkman

  • So glad I found Gossip in the Garden – look forward to seeing it in my inbox.
    Thanks for all the amazing tips and beautiful photos!

  • Rebecca- Love your articles. Looks like a great book. I too have a young daughter who could definitely use this book. Will it cure brown thumbs?

  • Hi! My mother, an avid gardener, sent me this article (as she does with many of yours) – we pass knowledge back and forth as she’s on the east coast and I’m in San Francisco. Having grown up with houseplants, I’m trying my best to keep all of mine alive (and learning about new plants along the way), but Mom can’t visit that often so I need all the help I can get!! Everyone has different tips, but I know that this book must have the definitive advice if it’s one you’re promoting – thank you for doing so!!

  • Rebecca, one of my sons is living in SF and is very much enjoying filling his apartment with house plants (unfortunately, not all have lived to tell the tale). This will be the perfect birthday gift for him. Love reading your posts and miss having you nearby. Hope you’re loving it out in the Sac area!

  • My daughter lives in LA and has shown an interest in house plants too! Now if she would just move to San Francisco to be closer!! Sigh… Lucky you though!!

  • Rebecca, reading this article it reminded me of the first time I heard of Baylor Chapman. I was reading your post about her succulent shutters, and I have been a huge fan of hers from that moment forward. I can see how the two of you are friends, you have very similar kindness quotients.

  • This book looks like the perfect Birthday gift for my granddaughter with her own first apartment that is filled with her beloved
    houseplants. She is a chip off the old Nana who would love to encourage her passion for plants and gardens!

  • I devour plant books like I devour lunch! Definitely would love to add this to my library…

  • My daughter in NYC is filling her apartment with houseplants and now wants to start a herb garden on her tiny balcony! This would be a perfect book for her. Thanks for sharing this book with your readers – I might have missed it!

  • I keep saying that I have enough gardening books and now it is clear I need this one too!

  • Rebecca, wish you were blogging more. Love your articles. Would love to own this book on houseplants although mine have taken a backseat to the outdoor garden right now. So much beauty!

  • I had the pleasure of meeting Baylor a few years ago and am so happy to see her new book! Thank you!

  • Your enthusiasm is infectious. Glad your daughter caught the gardening love!

  • Hi Rebecca, I love that your daughter has come to love your plant and gardening passion. My adult daughters have become interested in my gardening. So lovely to have a common interest as they create their separate homes and work lives. I love your Garden Design book ; I am trying yo use it to redesign my garden! I would love a copy of Baylor Chapman’s book. Thank you for sharing via your blog. Sharon

  • This looks like a wonderful book. Thanks for the chance to win it!

  • Rebecca, lovely article-great to see you and your daughter! Hope to see you the next time you are in the area. House plants I have never mastered, do they thrive on neglect? I have to say my garden looks amazing-everything looks very happy and growing well. The rain does help.


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