by Janet Woody, Librarian, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
It’s the time of year when we turn our garden attention to container gardening. And why is that you ask? Because we’ve completely planted out all of our beds and have decided, once again, there is no more space for plants. But there are always containers. They will fit just about anywhere.
And container gardening is fun. Mixing and matching colors and textures can keep me amused for hours at the local nursery. And factoring in the sun and water needs of the plants you decide you must have adds a challenge to container gardening, almost like doing math, but more fun. You can experiment more easily with annuals and tropical in pots because you aren’t making the same commitment you make to a shrub or a tree. So go wild with your containers — and then next year, you can do something completely different.
Here in the library, we have a number of beautiful books on container gardening. It’s almost as much fun looking at these books as it is spending hours at the nursery selecting plants. And it’s nice and cool here in the library! Or at your home.
Felder Rushing is the king of container gardening and his book Can’t Miss Container Gardening: practical solutions for garden success provides dozens of ideas for non-traditional containers and plant combos. Felder will help you see the planter potential in all kinds of found objects.
P. Allen Smith, famous TV gardener and decorator, has a book called, naturally, P. Allen Smith’s Container Gardens. P. Allen is a bit more formal than Felder but his plant combinations are just as inspiring.
Ray Rogers has compiled The Encyclopedia of Container Plants: more than 500 outstanding choices for gardeners which provides greater plant culture detail than most container garden books and is arranged in alphabetical order by plant. It offers fewer photographs of completed planters but is still a valuable resource for plant selection.
Pots in the Garden: expert design and planting techniques is also by Ray Rogers and delves more into design theory regarding topics such as vantage point, texture, and creating focal points.
These are just a few of our container garden books that will help you bring a little bit of your yard right up the door or window. That’s another good thing about containers; they bring the plants closer to our eyes and noses, where we can enjoy them. Have fun with your containers. There’s still a lot of summer left for you to get a little crazy with pots.
Librarian and pot enthusiast. As in containers, silly.