Small-space container gardens Transform your balcony, porch, or patio with fruits, flowers, foliage & herbs

Fern Richardson

Book - 2012

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 635.9671/Richardson Checked In
Portland, Or. : Timber Press 2012.
Main Author
Fern Richardson (-)
Physical Description
186 p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Small and sassy: choosing colors, containers, furniture, and lighting
  • The elements: working with weather and climate
  • The birds and the bees: attracting wildlife to your garden
  • Potager with a twist: growing gorgeous food
  • Succulents and scents path: loving a long and narrow space
  • The secret garden: planning and planting for privacy
  • Verdant and vertical: creating an upward, tropical oasis
  • Green thumb crash course: learning the essentials for success
  • The uninvited guests: troubleshooting pests and diseases.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

You don't need a yard in the suburbs to surround yourself with homegrown beauty and produce. Richardson, writer of an award-winning blog about gardening in tiny spaces, offers a comprehensive approach to getting started on a balcony or wee patio. The book is organized by principles (color, weather, wildlife, pests, etc.), which is particularly helpful for those just starting container gardening. For them, the book is filled with resources: planting schemes, do-it-yourself projects, short appendixes. Those with more gardening experience may find the plants Richardson highlights limiting. The author's attention to succulents is distinctive; those forgiving plants lend themselves to the container gardening environment. Gardeners living in less mild climates than Richardson's Southern California should remember that whatever is too delicate to winter outside must be hauled indoors for the duration, taking up what might be precious limited space. That said, container gardening is flexible, and Richardson makes it verdant, affordable, and fun. 150 color photos. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Preface Container gardening on balconies, patios, porches, terraces, decks, rooftops, or even windowsills is a fun way for those of us without a "real" garden to still get our hands dirty. I find that gardening on my balcony satisfies my need to grow--herbs, peaches, nectarines, figs, blueberries, flowers, and succulents--while still leaving plenty of time and energy for other parts of my life. The space I've created, and the process of caring for it, is also my retreat. When my husband insists on practicing the same song on his guitar, over and over and over, I can easily escape to the relative peace and quiet of my balcony garden. Even though container gardens are inherently less wild than a traditional garden--they are, after all, contained --I love that it's still possible to be surrounded with lushness, beauty, nature, privacy, and style. Connected so intimately to our indoor living areas, balconies, patios, and porches also serve as a transitional space between inside and out that naturally invites personal touches and creativity. Many people love plants and keep on adding to their collection, but feel frustrated that their balcony or patio doesn't reflect their unique style. That's where having a design strategy comes into play. In the first part of the book you'll learn how to make harmonious plant combinations and compositions, pick containers that are equally pleasing to plant and person, and utilize your space--on the floor, up the wall, over the railing--to its fullest potential. You'll get ideas on redefining what makes a container a container, incorporating decorative touches, and, above all, unleashing your personality. Throughout the book you'll also find plenty of practical information that shows you how to deal with unique challenges, like the microclimate of a windy balcony or a patio that gets the brunt of every rain storm. The final two chapters give you a basic crash course in cultivating your container gardening green thumb, as well as troubleshooting some common balcony garden pests and diseases. The five design chapters include multitudes of plant picks and tips to help you attract birds and beneficial insects to your garden, simultaneously satiate your hunger and your discerning eye, create a secret garden hidden away from nearby neighbors and noises, assemble a pathway of stunning succulents and fragrant plants, or luxuriate in a tropically themed refuge. I've included simplified design plans which you can use as inspirational blueprints or as jumping off points to mix and match plants from one chapter to another. No matter how you decide to use this book, I hope it motivates you to head outside and create your own oasis. You won't regret it!   Excerpted from Small-Space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage, and Herbs by Fern Richardson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.