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P. Allen Smith's Container Gardens: 60 Container Recipes to Accent Your Garden Hardcover – March 1, 2005
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This is a book of "recipes" for putting together beautiful color-coordinated containers with contrasting foliage. Some of the containers are more beautiful than the plants themselves and may prompt many readers to start shopping for their planters at antique sales. Each recipe spells out the ingredients - the type container and number and quantity of each plant. A photo and list of tips are also included.
The latter section of the book is quite informative and contains articles on stocking a potting shed (hmmm, the first item is a copy of his Garden Home Journal), selecting the right container for the setting, how to "age" a container, clean terra-cotta pots, waterproof containers, plant a standard pot, a hanging basket and a window box, and a plant directory of all the plants he mentions in the book.
It is quite obvious that these gorgeous containers were put together with plants fresh from the nursery (or florist) and I question how some of them would look after the growing season kicks in. For example, he recommends using the rose "La Marne" in one arrangement and even though he is using a large container, I know that this rose gets quite large and I'm not sure how it would look surrounded by coleus and petunias!?! The same goes for other plants like Kopper King hibiscus, etc. Still, I'm sure a lot of it is trial and error and if you want a book to inspire, this one will surely do it.
Smith suggests winter is the time when the garden is most subtle with its barks, berries and winter blooms, and last year I prepared a few winter containers using ideas he describes in this book. For one thing, pansies seem to be able to stand cold weather and often on a mild winter day their cheerful little faces pop through the snow to greet you. Some bulbs like Galanthus (snow drops) and Scilla will bloom early and give you a hint of the nice weather to come. Hellebores (and Crocus in my Virginia garden) are famous for their winter appearance, as noted in the Christmas carol "Lo a Rose Er Blooming" and small evergreen plants such as miniature hollies and needled trees also can be used to great effect. You can also try your hand at indoor pots. If you work outdoors, the key is to use a weatherproof container so the contents don't freeze and crack the sides of the pot. Smith's book is a great book for beginners and those of us who have been gardening a while.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love gardening and reading gardening books in the winter. This book had nice pictures and was a nice read with lots of good tips.Published 26 days ago by Sherri Orsucci
Glad I bought it used. Honestly I don't really care for many of the combinations he's put together - that's just my opinion but they weren't "wow."Published 9 months ago by Mrs. B
more plants and flowers than I wanted, needed more vegetables, but good ideas.Published 10 months ago by Claudia J. Van Holt
The book I received from hippo was advertised as used. It arrived today and each page, the cover, and jacket are in excellent condition. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Carolyn