A large container-grown bergenia from my garden.
This is a fun gardening book that I’d like to share with you today. It’s called The Encyclopedia of Container Plants, by Ray Rogers and photography by Rob Cardillo. This is by the same author, although a different photographer, from a gardening book that I reviewed earlier last autumn, entitled Pots In the Garden: Expert Design and Planting Techniques.
I love books like this in the dreary and cold winter, because the gorgeous photos of all the plants are so inspirational. It is perfect for curling up on the couch with a cup of your favorite hot tea and a pad of paper and pen, and dreaming about next summer!
Container gardening is really something which anyone who wishes to can take part, making it a super choice for those who might not have a garden or ground suitable for gardening. Author Ray Rogers takes you through all the steps that you will need to be successful at container gardening in this large, coffeetable-sized volume.
First, he covers the basics of how to do container gardening. He also offers some instruction to make reading the list of plant entries that comprise the majority of this book easy and so you get the most out of it.
Next, he offers up a gallery of inspired containers. These are such eye candy, and he goes through and clearly identifies each plant used in each container, so you can recreate the look yourself if you wish. There are a lot of great ideas for displaying containers in this section as well. He uses beautiful architectural pieces to elevate pots in the garden, as well as bright pottery columns used for the same purpose, for example.
The majority of the book, however, is given over to an A-To-Z Plant Directory, which includes more than 500 outstanding plants. This is such a helpful section for the home gardener. Mr. Rogers gives all the basics that you’d want to know, such as plant height and width, light needs, overwintering requirements, moisture and drainage. He also shares design attributes for each plant, and this is super-useful so you can decide if it will look good in your container and in your garden. For Mr. Rogers, these include:
- line and repetition
- form and mass
- space and placement
- focal points
- the appeal of emptiness
He lists specific varieties of the plants that he discusses so you can more easily look for these in seed catalogs or at your favorite garden center or plant sale, and he does also give cultural tips to help you give your plant everything it will need to flourish in your garden. A wide variety of different plant types are also covered, including annuals, perennials, shrubs, edibles, bulbs and tropicals.
If you read this book now, early in the New Year, it will help you to decide which flower seeds you might want to purchase this season, as well as help you create a list for the upcoming plant sales of plants that you want to include in your container garden this spring and summer. Because it is so comprehensive in scope, it’s a useful book to help the beginning gardener get off on the right foot, but also caters to the experienced gardeners who want to expand the scope of their container gardening activities and knowledge of plants.
I liked this book a lot, and I highly recommend The Encyclopedia of Container Plants!
Do you like to plan ahead for what you will grow in your containers, or do you take a more freestyle approach to your container gardening? I’d love to hear all about it down in the comments!
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Till next time,
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