Back in the early sixties and seventies, during the “Green Revolution” we were out in our earth shoes, VW minibuses, ‘54 Ford pick-ups, selling anything that looked like a plant. Ah, the good ol’ days when the only indoor plants were spider plants and wandering jews! (Sigh…)

Some of the people and businesses who bought these plants would ask, “I just love all these plants I bought, but I don’t have time to water them. Do you think you could do it?” And, Voila! An industry was born.

Along with the watering job came, of course, the problem of interior pest control, which is, to say the least, different from exterior pest control. Ever spray malathion in an office building? We learn from our mistakes.

Then there came the task of keeping the plant in the six inch pot from growing out the front door. “How?” “Why, by trimming off the vines, of course,” you answer. “But, OH! You’re hurting my poor plant!” Mrs. Johnson is screaming in your ear. “A little more off the left,” replies the plant.

As our industry grew (no pun intended, well maybe) so did our responsibilities to our growing lists of customers. Why… some companies were even guaranteeing their interior plants! Can you imagine that?

I’m pleased to say that interiorscaping has come a long way from those days. Now we all guarantee our plants.

In the greenhouses across the country new and hardier interior plant varieties are being developed. Every week or so we are hearing about old plant varieties rediscovered for interior use (more on this topic later).

Many interiorscapers looking for “something different”, from the same old philodendrons and Draceaneas are going to outdoor varieties such as bougainvillas and liriopes, for example (more on outdoor varieties later).

The most basic of the interiorscapers jobs is watering. New concepts concerning the use of watering cans and buckets are being developed continually. Self watering containers, self pressurized water tanks holding as much as twenty-five gallons at a time, drip irrigation, and hydroponics, are just a few of the newer ideas.

With the growth of interiorscape companies have come employees and the complexities of managing a growing interiorscape firm. One day we realized we just couldn’t do it all.

As our expertise grew (just like Mrs. Johnson’s six inch plant) the opportunities to work side by side with other design professionals has also grown. Many interior designers have taken the opportunity to consult with a professional interiorscaper when the use of plantings are requested in interior projects.

The future of interiorscaping and interiorscapers is “simply MAH-VAH-LOUS!” The evidence of this is that more people are getting into this field by either working with the plants directly or in the development of hardware for this industry.

By working together and exchanging ideas with our clients, other design professionals, and other interiorscapers, we’ll be able to keep interiorscaping growing to the design forefront where it belongs.


Good Interiorscape Books:

The House Plant Encyclopedia
by Ingrid Jantra, Ursula Kruger, Maya Anyas, Joan Campbell

This is the most comprehensive, enjoyable and infinitely readable book on indoor plants I have been able to find in my long period of searching. The first section of the book is a joy to anyone trying to find all the data relevant to the upkeep of indoor, patio and greenhouse plants, with a superb section on all tools, growing media and placement of all these plants. Green issues are tackled in an informative manner, and the detailed explanations of general plant care are suitable for both the expert and beginner. The section dealing with the actual identificaion of the plants is comprehensive, dealing with every aspect for care of each individual plant shown, and the subject matter is immense. This book is written in a friendly, uncluttered manner, and is a total joy for someone like me, who has scoured the bookshops to no avail. I would recommend this book to anyone.Editorial Reviews

 

Agnes Palazzetti, The Buffalo News, Dec 17, 1999
It has an A to Z listing of 1,000 houseplants with full color photos; information on how to tackle pests and diseases for each plant along with a detailed description, advice on placement, care and propagation as well as advice on light, watering and feeding needs.

Mary Cameron Frey, Chicago Sun-Times, December 7, 2001
If you or someone you know really enjoys gardening indoors, you must have this book.