One of my biggest projects for 2015 was the making of this book.
The publisher Thames and Hudson approached me to write a book about indoor plants in late 2013 and I said yes to be honest without really thinking through what a big project it would be.
After taking a few possible forms, the book ended up settling in to a look at life lived with plants through my (and therefore the Mr Kitly) lens. During the 6 years the shop has been open, houseplants have been a very important element to Mr Kitly.
My next step was to ask my friend and photographer Lauren Bamford to be part of the project and the book is graced with her photographs throughout.
The book (and Mr Kitly for that matter) I have realised is a result of over 20 years spent unconsciously accumulating an aesthetic influenced by my time lived in Japan & Melbourne. Curiosity about all kinds of stuff manifested itself in the book via essays written by various people on the social, creative and community dimensions of houseplants.
I am pleased that impressions and memories I have picked up along the way which quietly made their home within the corners of my soul - such as the potted gardens, machiya and tsuboniwa of Japan - have emerged in this book.
I am very happy that some of the things we have developed at Mr Kitly over the years, such as working with my Dad to make the Mr Kitly plant stands, working with artists on handmade ceramic planters when we launched back in 2010, and having the idea to work with local manufacturer Decor to release a special series of planters have been given a place here as they have been great projects.
I am also pleased to have the 'plant essays' in the book - not an especially common inclusion in 'coffee table' books and thus not a publisher's dream perhaps, but I enjoyed exploring the deeper, wider and bit more esoteric corners of house plant culture.
The book presented such a fine chance to visit proper and illuminate the lives and thoughts of so many wonderful people who I have gotten to know via Mr Kitly.
But wait it's not all about me me me. The book is a small simple ode to house plants, for and about all those that have some plants in their life. I hope it is enjoyed.
You can see it here.