design inspitation- houseplant illustrations

There is something about old vintage houseplant books that strike my fancy. Maybe it is because they are intricately illustrated or done with black and white photography. I am sure the fact that they are full of plants has something to do with it too! I love to collect them.

This weekend I was inspired by fern illustrations in my book The Woman's Day Book of House Plants, 1965:

ferns and fiddle heads design for sale here:

I designed it using these amazing preserved rock and lutti andianthum ferns with a few dried fiddle head ferns. The buff cockscomb I used reminds me of the rabbits foot in the second fern illustration. The container is a handcrafted Indian lassi cup. A rare find indeed!

Do old books ever inspire you?


  1. Definitely. Especially old magazines.

  2. how lovely!

    yes, old books always inspire me. both written and illustrated. i have a very old science volume for the 1800s - and i'm inspired every single time i look at it.

  3. My whole business is based on inspiration from vintage books. I especially LOVE old cookbooks from the 60's and 70's- the photography is classic.

  4. joy how awesome! i would love to know what type of business you are in, it sounds wonderful

  5. Hi Christina!

    I found your sites through apartment therapy. What a beautiful family and beautiful life you've created for yourself. I think you studied horticulture and worked in floral design? What advice can you give to someone just starting out, thinking of switching careers? I'm about to have a family and wanted work I love, not work to suck away my soon-to-be precious time and energy. I have taken some floral classes and did a brief apprenticeship a couple of years ago. I am in the NYC area. Any input you could give would be much appreciated!!! THANKS ---Alice


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