Container Gardening

Are you itching to plant something, but short on space, time, or energy?  Here are four container gardening books that may be just what you’re looking for.

Small-Space Container Gardening by Fern Richardson

Lack of space needn’t inhibit style and ecological awareness when gardening.  Fern Richardson offers suggestions for container gardens that attract birds and bees, grow herbs and veggies for the kitchen, and enhance the attractiveness of small spaces on balconies, porches and terraces.  Small-Space Container Gardening is useful as a reference work, but it’s also a pleasure to read, whether you actually plant or not.  Chapters such as “The Birds and the Bees”, “Green Thumb Crash Course”, and “Uninvited Guests” (garden pests and diseases) are full of helpful information, and the beautiful photographs invite the reader into stylishly designed spaces.

Container Gardening for Kids by Ellen Talmage.

Are your kids interested in gardening, too?  Do you want to start them out in a manageably sized garden with a high probability of success?  If so, then container gardening may be the perfect place to begin.  Using a wide variety of readily available, often re-purposed, containers such as toy wagons, plastic bottles, gourds and even half a watermelon, Talmage provides clear instructions for twenty-three different container projects.  Careful attention is also paid to gardening basics such as soils, drainage, and plant care.  A helpful list of appropriate plants is included.  With terrific photos of kids and their container garden projects, this book is a sure bet for encouraging kids to try their hand at gardening.

Container Water Gardening for Hobbyists.  (Pond Guy Publications, 2008.)

Can there be anything more soothing and inviting in your garden than the sound of water bubbling over rocks?  While large water features can be expensive to create and time consuming to maintain, a container water garden is easy on the budget and the back.  In Container Water Gardening for Hobbyists, the publishing team at Aquascape Lifestyles magazine <www.aquascapeinc.com/aquascape-lifestyles-magazine> have created a “soup to nuts” guide to container water gardening.  There are chapters on materials and construction and planting design and care, as well as a variety of projects, all of which are carefully explained.  There are lavish photos, and an extensive “gallery” of plants is included.  Whether you opt for still or moving water, a large container or small, Container Water Gardening for Hobbyists provides all the information needed for a successful project.

Container Kitchen Garden by Anthony Atha.

Last, but by no means least, is Anthony Atha’s guide to growing herbs, vegetables, and fruit in small spaces.  As with the other titles, there is plenty of useful information on the basics of choosing containers, preparing them for planting and choosing appropriate plants.  Design suggestions for containers that will live on patios and balconies and in window boxes are included, as are helpful tips about everything from fertilizers to pest control. An extensive list of herbs, veggies and fruits that can be successfully grown in containers completes this volume.  Photos are plentiful and will whet the reader’s appetite for container grown edibles.

-Mully

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