From Publishers Weekly:
For the gardener buying only one book on container planting this season, this delectable, concise volume is the choice.Starting with spring, British florist and writer Hillier (Container Gardening; The Book of Fresh Flowers) offers an irresistible selection of container plantings for all four seasons.
Initially considering containers, he confesses a partiality to patinas, irregularities, moss and lichen and even suggests brushing new terracotta with yogurt to speed the aging process. Discussing plant selections, he examines light, soil and moisture requirements and offers valuable tips about shape, proportion, texture and color effects. Best of all are the sparkling, one-per-page planting suggestions in the main chapters.
The sizes of the container alone and with mature plantings are given; components are labeled in Latin and popular nomenclature, with the number of plants required noted. Sun, soil and watering needs are listed, along with planting instructions and suggestions for feeding and long-term care. Encouraging the use of dwarf trees and shrubs, Hillier also delivers precise reader-friendly instructions meant to cover all issues, even advising that a fuchsia standard is likely to take two years of training before it flowers. Brief annotated plant listings round out this stellar, unfussy volume.
From Library Journal:
Containing plants in boxes, baskets, and pots greatly expands a gardener's opportunities. Plant species requiring different soil compositions can be grouped in one location. Patios, roofs, stairways, and troublesome, empty spaces in the traditional garden can be transformed instantly with color, texture, and form. These two new books, both magnificiently illustrated with color photographs, demonstrate the versatility and challenges offered by container gardening.
Tarling presents practical suggestions on selection and preparation of containers and shares her considerable knowledge of plant species that can best be adapted to the limitations of a contained environment. In a section devoted to various garden "situations," Tarling demonstrates the potential for plants in paved areas, balconies, steps, and window sills.
Valuable botanical and artistic recommendations abound, and an appendix of key plants with descriptive notes should guide both the experienced and novice gardener. Hillier, author of The Book of Container Gardening (S. & S. 1991), has prepared a unique catalog of designs for containers with details on type and size of container and type and number of plants to be used. Hillier also discusses the elements of design, the mechanics of container preparation, and methods of enhancing special areas such as steps and walls.
Hillier's book, with its ready-made designs, may have a slight advantage for the novice. Both books, however, are commendable for their artistic vision and practical gardening advice.?Laurie Bartolini, Legislative Research Unit, Springfield, Ill.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A gift from a mother to her newbie gardener son, this is the best text I've sampled so far on container gardening how-to. It's essentially an ornate lesson planner slash visual catalog. Being overwhelmed by the variety of choices available to a novice, this book takes the direction of showing you the authors own display ideas, along w/ information on number of plants needed, initial planting steps, container size information, and how large the display will get. Granted, my choices are a bit light starting my garden in the winter chapter, I'm still very enthusiastic about recreating some of his pieces: minty evergreens and red winter berries. The large, glossy, full color photos effectively help to give an idea of size, scope, and often texture of the displays, as they contrast their containers. As mentioned in another review, his eye for color, and his knack for matching the pots to their plants are very impressive. The printing I have is from 1995; perhaps the 1998 version has added a few new items. I found this an excellent primer for the beginner.
This review is from: Container Gardening Through the Year (Hardcover)
Mr. Hillier revealed an entirely new aspect of gardening to me. His container plantings are works of art, and his creativity in the varied containers,locations and plantings is wonderful. For example, he makes a simple group of cream- colored pansies in terra cotta pots on a brick window ledge look fantastic. His work can be imitated or it can inspire new combinations if one does not have access to the diverse types of plants he uses. I savored this book over the winter, and my garden is much enhanced this summer!