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Small-Space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage, and Herbs Paperback – March 6, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Filled with useful information, but written in a relaxed, chatty style, [Small-Space Container Gardens] is a great cover-to-cover read, while also working well as a reference guide if you're looking for specific tips, such as container plants that attract butterflies..." (Susan Morrison, author of Garden Up!)


"From selection of plants to illustrations of how to lay it all out, beginning and experienced gardeners alike will find plenty of inspiration." (Kylee Baumle, Horticulture Magazine)

"Popular blogger Fern Richardson at Lifeonthebalcony.com knows all about attaining some big style in small spaces. Yes, you can do it all - attract wildlife, grow food, become one with your inner-nature-lover and work with limited lighting on porches, balconies and other small areas. " (Cindy McNatt, The Orange County Register)

“Container gardening is flexible, and Richardson makes it verdant, affordable, and fun.” —Publishers Weekly

“Ideas to help patio gardens look polished and planned.” —Chicago Tribune
 
“Offers a generous list of funky containers.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Packs a great deal of information in a small space.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Walks you through beautifying a small space, such as a balcony, porch, patio or small yard, even on a tight budget.” —Horticulture
 
“Shares a whole host of ideas for transforming even the tiniest of spaces into something special.” —Apartment Therapy

“The best book on balcony gardening on the market today. I highly recommend this book to all small space gardeners (novice or expert).” —The Real Gardener
 
“Yes, you can do it all—attract wildlife, grow food, become one with your inner-nature-lover, and work with limited lighting on porches, balconies, and other small areas.” —Cindy McNatt, Orange County Register

“ It’s packed with gorgeous photographs—making it pleasant to browse through for quick inspiration. The author’s real-life take on small-space gardening makes reading the full text worthwhile.” —Fort Worth Examiner

“Shows us how to have an enviable garden without the acreage.” —Curbly.com

“A beautifully written and designed book.” —NaturesFootprint.com
 
“Whether you’re planning a small container garden or want to beautify your backyard, this book is full of helpful tips for beginning gardeners.” —Greenupgrader.com

From the Back Cover

Chances are your balcony, porch, or patio could use a major makeover. Fern Richardson, charismatic creator of the blog Life on the Balcony, is here to walk you through the process of beautifying a small space—even when your budget is just as small.

This exciting guide layers practical gardening fundamentals with creative solutions that encourage thinking outside the pot. Maybe this means repurposing a shipping pallet to create a colorful vertical garden of nasturtiums and lobelia. Or simply seeing walls, rafters, railings, and everything in between as fair game. You'll also learn how to tackle unique challenges, like windy conditions when gardening several stories above street level, and how to care for plants and troubleshoot with the best of them.

From design basics to essential plant picks, Small-Space Container Gardens proves you don't need a yard to have a garden. For anyone who wants more green in their life, it's time to get out there and start growing.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604692413
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604692419
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I got this book because (A)I live in an apartment complex and (B)I have whatever the opposite of a green thumb is - a magenta thumb? I kill, unintentionally, every plant I've brought into my life, no matter how robust.

This book has me on the path to leafy rehabilitation. It's very thorough, covering topics I wasn't even aware were a consideration. It's very easy to read in a large format with plenty of pictures and examples.

Even if I'm a hopeless case, at the very least this book has imparted knowledge upon me I didn't previously have. While I may not create the next award-winning small space botanical extravaganza (or I may!), I've certainly gained a valuable appreciation for what goes into a successful garden.
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Format: Paperback
Small-Space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage, and HerbsOne doesn't need a yard in order to garden. In the equal-opportunity world that many of us inhabit, anyone who wishes to grow plants ought to be able to do so, no matter where they reside. The fact that so many apartment-dwellers and condo-owners choose gardening as their passion, speaks not only to the ingenuity and zeal of the individual hobbyist, but also to the versatility and adaptability of most plants to container gardening.

Master Gardener, Fern Richardson writes about small-space gardening with an authentic voice. She lives in an apartment with minimal outdoor living area, yet manages to grow food, flowers, and plants with only a balcony and front porch as her garden. Her book is filled with ingenious ways to convert tiny areas into outdoor oases, complete with plant vegetation and small-scale furniture so that anyone's balcony, porch, or tiny patio may become a multi-purpose outdoor living area.

The author's book is divided into nine easy, comprehensive lessons. Chapter One over arches the main elements of a small garden, namely the colors, shapes, sizes, and textures, of plants and containers, appropriate furniture, and the option of lighting. Chapter Two discusses the pivotal role that weather and climate play in affecting the productivity, hardiness, and health of container-grown plants. The third chapter offers suggestions for attracting wildlife and the fourth is about growing food - yes, one can grow food in containers. Read the book to discover how it can be done.
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Format: Paperback
As soon as the first frost hits here I am planning for next year's plantings. Small-Space Container Gardens has already helped me start planning for our spring porch and deck. No matter what your available space, this book has something for you.

The first few chapters set the scene by choosing colors, containers settings, and location. Following that there is information on attracting wildlife and growing food plants in containers. There is a section on succulents and scents, and a chapter on privacy planting. You can learn to create a vertical garden, and battle pests. There is even a green thumb crash course. This is just a brief summary of what is in this information packed book.

The book helps with ideas for designing not just individual pots but, an entire patio or porch. There is something for the spacious areas for those who live in the country as well as those who have limited space in the city. Large or small, there are planting ideas for all.

There are several projects for inexpensive pot upgrades and very unique ideas using thrift shop or found items. My favorite project was the beautiful garden table that would be so simple to create with only a few materials.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Fern's stylish blog Life on the Balcony for some time. Fern's like an approachable version of Martha Stewart for container gardeners - while her photos and ideas are gorgeously inspiring, her projects are never so difficult or time-consuming that I feel I couldn't possibly fit them into a weekend, unlike some of Martha's cool but overly involved eye candy.

So when Fern's new book Small-Space Container Gardens came out, I already had two copies pre-ordered, one for myself and one to give as a gift. I just knew I was going to love it. And sure enough, I do! The book is structured as a total from-the-ground-up guide to having a gorgeous balcony garden. While you might think that would encompass only container planting, she also shares numerous tips on design and décor, dealing with narrow spaces, vertical gardening, and issues unique to balcony gardeners like how to deal with rain pouring in sheets off the roof and onto your potted plants.

Even better, Fern's DIY style is made easy and fun with numerous tutorials and crafts throughout the book. I absolutely adored the chalkboard planter idea for taking ordinary, inexpensive pots and making them cute and functional. How many times have I gotten a call from a client just before dinnertime wondering whether the plant with big leaves was the oregano or the sage? Now, I can show horticulturally-challenged gardeners this tutorial and they can create their own (very chic) labeled pots for their edibles. What a great gift idea!

I felt this way with all of the tutorials in the book. Fern made everything look so elegant that I immediately wanted to rush out, get a few supplies, and make `em happen. She showed a small-space DIY birdbath which would be perfect nestled among a few potted plants.
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