Wonder Plants 2: Your Urban Jungle Interior + Win a copy!

I received Wonder Plants 2 for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

I almost brought another plant home from the grocery store today — a darling little philodendron in a simple terracotta pot — but my basket was already weighed down with milk and tomatoes and other essentials (and non-essentials) that I’d be struggling to juggle on the bus as it was. Adding a plant to the mix seemed like a recipe for a bad end so decided to leave if (or leaf it, ha ha) for another day. And now I think it’s just as well. I’d much rather save up for a giant statement-making plant that’ll add life to the living room where we spend so much of our time. Okay maybe two giant plants. Three if I’m being honest. And for that I blame Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner. The pair wrote the book (well books) on living large with plants in Wonder Plants and Wonder Plants 2: Your Urban Jungle Interior and the 20 stunning green interiors and plant care tips inside have me dreaming of something similar at home. We looked at Wonder Plants in 2017; here today is peek inside Wonder Plants 2

Wonder Plants 2 copyright Hilton Carter 1

This is plant love on a large scale; each of the spaces from Los Angeles, CA to Chau Doc, Vietnam with their own distinct design point of view. Some are bold and bright, others spare and hushed, still others some pleasing mix of the two.

The most jungle-y of the urban jungles might be the Baltimore home of filmmaker/producer/interior decorator/plant specialist, Hilton Carter, who tends to the nearly 150 plants in his light-filled loft with a mix of TLC (even setting an alarm to know when to water which plants) and gut instinct.

 “I see a plant in the house as a design element … especially with bigger specimens, you can set the tone and make a room even more warm and inviting. But place a Ficus lyrata (fiddle-leaf fig) between a Monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese plant) and a Strelitzia (bird of paradise), for instance, and you can see something almost magical happen. That process of discovering and unravelling is something that I thoroughly enjoy spending time on.” — Hilton Carter

Wonder Plants 2 copyright Hilton Carter 4

Carter’s test-tube wall of cuttings serves a practical purpose in an eye-catching design.

Wonder Plants 2 copyright Jan Verlinde_woning Anouk Taeymans

Greenery in the Antwerp, Belgium home of engineer and architect Anouk Taeymans pops in the bright, white space.

“More and more clients ask for a greener interior,” Taeymans says. “I take the time to find out which plants you can maintain relatively easy with little care and which types purify the air.”

One of my favourite features of Wonder Plants 2 (that’s also in Wonder Plants) is the guide to all of the plants in each interior, found at the back of book. The pictures are repeated with each plant numbered and identified, which you can then reference again in the plant care index at the end. I learned that the tallest plant on the right in the photo above — the Clusia rosea (aka the autograph tree or pitch apple) — is exceptional for air purifying, can be placed in partial shade, and is a reasonably robust plant. (i.e. so maybe I wouldn’t kill it?) I just wish the book also indicated which plants are toxic to pets. So many of the larger ones I’ve asked about at a local florist seem to be potentially harmful for our cat. 😿

Wonder Plants 2 copyright Pedro Kok

A new build in Avare, Brazil offers a unique indoor garden and patio for its future occupants. The concrete grid pergola draws natural light into the house and provides ample light for the tropical plants.

Wonder Plants 2 copyright Birgitte Wolfgang Sisters Agency 2

And in our last look at the book, a wall of plants in the Paris home of art director Jean-Marc Dimanche reads like a towering, vertical jungle.

“Over the years, the plants have taken over the initiative and some versions have ‘devoured’ others. The current situation has strayed strongly from the plant chart [the designer] Patrick had envisioned: it is almost as if nature practiced free expression here.” — Jean-Marc Dimanche

Wonder Plants 2 official cover

I could pore over Wonder Plants 2 for hours examining the attention to detail in each of the interiors, not only in the choice of plants but in the lighting, materials and decor. It’s fascinating to see the myriad ways people use their space — as an urban jungle, a creative expression, and a reflection of their surroundings and culture. The use of plants in these interiors is so integrated, so harmonious, so necessary. It’s almost as if the homes sprouted up among the plants instead of the other way around. If you’re looking to build an urban jungle of your own or just love plants, Wonder Plants 2 is great book for inspiration and information, both for decorating with plants and for taking care of them.

Maybe I do need that darling philodendron after all.


Thanks to Lannoo Publishers, I’ve got a copy of Wonder Plants 2 to give away!  To enter to win it, tell me something about how you use plants in your decor at home and what kind of plants they are. (You don’t have to name them all, just a couple will do. This entry is mandatory.)

For another entry, follow try small things and Lannoo Publishers on Facebook, share this post (you’ll see the share buttons below) and tell me your Facebook name in the comments below. 

And feel free to tweet the following once per day and leave the url for your tweet in the comments below (one entry per tweet). Make sure you’re following try small things and  on Twitter for your entry to count.

Stunning green decor inspo from around the world + plant care tips // #Win Wonder Plants 2: Your Urban Jungle Interior from @trysmallthings https://wp.me/p4xBed-7ve  CAN 9/12 #wonderplants2

The contest is open to Canadian (excluding Quebec) residents 18+ and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on September 12, 2019. The potential winner (chosen at random) must respond to prize notification within 48 hours and provide the correct answer to a skill-testing question, otherwise another winner will be selected.

Good luck!

Photos from Wonder Plants 2 used here with permission from the publisher. Photos 2 and 3 © Hilton Carter; photo 4 © Jan Verlinde; photo 5 © Pedro Kok; photo 6 © Birgitta Wolfgang / Sisters Agency. Cover: © Hilton Carter.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments (



  1. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  2. Pauline Milner
  3. lyndac1968

  4. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  5. Pauline Milner
  6. lyndac1968

  7. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  8. Pauline Milner
  9. Lynda Cook

  10. Lynda Cook

  11. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  12. Pauline Milner
  13. Lynda Cook

  14. Pauline Milner
  15. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  16. Lynda Cook

  17. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  18. Pauline Milner
  19. Lynda Cook

  20. koulakeels

    Thank you for sharing! I posted a blog a few months ago about one of my most inspirational plant books, Urban Jungle! These types of books embody creativity and bring me so much joy. Would LOVE to own a copy.

  21. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  22. Pauline Milner
  23. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  24. Lynda Cook

  25. Pauline Milner
  26. Lori

  27. Elaine Beierbach

    I want a potted plant for my balcony 15 stories up in Calgary AB. What are my choices?

  28. Lynda Cook

  29. Pauline Milner

  30. Pauline Milner

    I have liked and am following both Facebook pages. My Facebook name is Pauline Milner Pike. Thanks.

  31. Pauline Milner

    I have four huge containers that each contain a variety of plants including Dieffenbachia, Peace Plant, Snake Plant and various types of vines. They add living decor to our home and are definitely part of the decorating scheme. I would love to add more plants, especially ones that have fragrant blossoms. Thanks for the super giveaway opportunity.

  32. Lynda Cook

  33. Shirley P


    Dazzling to behold!

  35. Lynda Cook

  36. Julie A.

  37. Julie A.
  38. Julie A.

    I’ve got a little green corner in my living room with a fig tree, a Norfolk pine and a snake plant. I’d like to add more eventually

  39. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  40. Heather Swanson

    I have colorful hanging plants on my veranda that attract hummingbirds & butterflies.

  41. Allie S.

    I love my indoor plants! Adding greenery to my living room and bedroom enhance the wood features and create a cozy, natural feel to my place. I love my spider plant, succulents, coleus, and this other striped plant I don’t know the name of ☺️

  42. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  43. lyndac1968

  44. lyndac1968

    Follow both accounts and shared on FB Lynda Noack-Cook

  45. lyndac1968

    I love my plants but sadly I kill more with all my love I have for them, my biggest problem is I over water and the way my house is I don’t get any south sun, it’s pretty dark in my house and plants do need light, right now I have 8 plants, 2 snake plants, christmas cactus, money tree, a fern, and a couple small ones I don’t know that names

    1. try small things

      Plants bring so much life to a room! I wish you had more sunlight, Lynda! 💚

  46. Alayne Langford

    Shared on Facebook for the love of plants. Alayne Stewart Langford 🙂

  47. Alayne Langford

  48. Alayne Langford

    I kill plants, I am a plant killer. But there are a few survivors in my house, they must be avoiding me, because they are looking pretty good. I will just keep my distance. 🙂

    1. try small things

      Ha ha ha. Maybe that’s the secret! You may be on to something, mon amie! 😘❤️🌿

  49. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  50. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

    well, I still have my poinsettia alive since Christmas!! I am not good with plants, and my home isn’t worthy of plants, unfortunately, but I do admire and love looking at books about plants !!

    1. try small things

      That’s not nothing! Cathy gave me a Norfolk Pine for Christmas that I wish I could say was still with us too. 😭😭 It’s trial and error with the plants. (More error than trial, it seems.)

%d bloggers like this: