Book review by Karen England for Let's Talk Plants! April 2022.
“Perfect guide for growing herbs indoors.”
“Not only are herbs fragrant and flavorful, but also many of them make wonderful, easy-to-grow houseplants, thriving in all types of homes, from small city apartments and college dorms to country cottages. You don’t need fancy grow lights or expensive potting soil to grow them; all you need is the right plant and the right location. In Herbal Houseplants, expert herbalist Susan bets lets you in on all the best secrets for growing herbs indoors.
Author Susan Betz assures us that many herbs do well indoors if they get the right care. No need to be without their aromas, flavors and beauty when we can’t be in the garden. The key is knowing what each herb needs and this book is the perfect guide to the light, soil and pruning requirements of dozens of popular culinary and fragrant herbs, . . . And there is a helpful chapter on using and preserving the clippings from herbal houseplants in the kitchen and for body care, with timely tips, sage advice, and recipes.” — Conrad Richter/ Richters 2021 Herb & Vegetable Catalog
“Susan Betz’s latest book Herbal Houseplants encourages us to take a new look at our indoor spaces and try growing herbs as houseplants. It is topical, practical and very appealing. Instead of a poinsettia, we could buy a strawberry-scented geranium and pomegranates and make a ruby-red sorbet for winter cheer. Or perhaps collect mints or sow a pot of cilantro in the kitchen? Why didn’t we think of this before? Alongside the factual information on how and where to grow herbs indoors – ‘Thymely Tips and Sage Advice’ - are enticing quotes that make you want to read on: ‘let’s go to that house, for the linen looks white, and smells of lavender, and I love to lie in a pair of sheets that smell so.’ (The Compleat Angler, Isaak Walton, 1653). Who could resist?
Susan’s ‘up close and personal’ style is bound to win friends and influence readers. She writes reassuringly about herbs as “good friends” that you can trust to make life better. Just give them a try and see what works best for you and your space. In addition to simple recipes for tempting things you can eat and drink, there is no end of other ways to use your herbal houseplants, from creating potpourri and herbal parchment paper to topiaries and ‘talking bouquets.’ Some are easy enough for youngsters. Making a mint bubble bath could bring some light relief from home-schooling. And it might, come to think of it, add one or two useful skills.
But growing herbs as houseplants is not all about “how to.” All the herbs that Susan suggests are so intensely fragrant and have such interesting textures – silky eucalyptus, spiky rosemary, velvety horehound, - that you will not be able to resist stroking them and breathing deeply.
‘Gardens do not have to be measured in feet, yards or acres, they can be measured in inches just as successfully.’ - Kitchen Gardens, Mary Mason Campbell.
What better way to relax than with herbs at your fingertips!”
~Deni Bown, Author, Royal Horticultural Society/Herb Society of America Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses