Friday Review: Hanging Baskets, Window Boxes, and Other Container Gardens by David Joyce

Hanging Baskets, Window Boxes, and Other Container Gardens: A Guide to Creative Small-Scale GardeningHanging Baskets, Window Boxes, and Other Container Gardens: A Guide to Creative Small-Scale Gardening by David Joyce

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up this book because now that we live in a townhouse, we don’t have a lot of space where we can put in our own gardens. We had a hanging basket and a box on the front porch railing last year, but I wanted to add to those this year, and start to build a container garden that would brighten up the landscape around our house a bit. The landscaping is nice, but it’s typical shrubs and the like, so kind of boring. I wanted to look into some different ideas than just what you see already done up at garden centers, especially since we are starting to collect some containers.

This book was a good place to start. It is divided into sections, for hanging baskets, window and other boxes, and free-standing containers. Joyce talks about plants that work well in containers, and what containers are best for the different plants. He discusses the basic care of containers, including soil mixes, watering and drainage, fertilizing, and basic care. There are lots of pictures of container gardens in many settings, from large, formal gardens to city sidewalks and balconies to more modest home gardens. There are also a number of step-by-step projects for making container gardens, some typical boxes and baskets, and some more whimsical like the flower basket planted in an old, painted colander. At the end of the book is a glossary of plants that can be used in containers that gives each one’s individual characteristics and needs, as well as some suggestions for companions.

It’s not a long, thick book, but it is easy to read and understand, the pictures and projects are inspiring, and the glossary is quite helpful. If you are interested in designing a full container garden or just want to try something different in your window box this year, this book can provide some really nice ideas.

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