Small-Space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage, and Herbs [Paperback]
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
A concrete slab populated solely with plastic chairs and an abandoned grill? Not anymore. Chances are your balcony, porch, or patio could use a major makeover. Fern Richardson, charismatic creator of the Life on the Balcony blog, is here to walk you through the process of beautifying a small space--even when you have a similarly small budget.
This exciting guide layers practical gardening fundamentals with creative solutions that encourage thinking outside the pot. Maybe this means repurposing a shipping pallet to create a colorful vertical garden of nasturtiums and lobelia. Or simply seeing walls, rafters, railings, and everything in-between as fair game. It's in these containers--traditional or not--that you'll cultivate your own food, attract beneficial insects, grow flowering vine privacy screens, and so much more. You'll also learn how to tackle unique challenges, like windy conditions when gardening several stories above street level, and how to care for plants and troubleshoot with the best of them.
From design basics to essential plant picks, Small-Space Container Gardens proves you don't need a yard to have a garden. For anyone who wants more green in their life, it's time to get out there and start growing.
"Filled with useful information, but written in a relaxed, chatty style, [Small-Space Container Gardens] is a great cover-to-cover read, while also working well as a reference guide if you're looking for specific tips, such as container plants that attract butterflies..." (Susan Morrison, author of Garden Up!)
"From selection of plants to illustrations of how to lay it all out, beginning and experienced gardeners alike will find plenty of inspiration." (Kylee Baumle, Horticulture Magazine)
"Popular blogger Fern Richardson at Lifeonthebalcony.com knows all about attaining some big style in small spaces. Yes, you can do it all - attract wildlife, grow food, become one with your inner-nature-lover and work with limited lighting on porches, balconies and other small areas. " (Cindy McNatt, The Orange County Register)
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. (Publishers Weekly )
"If you have ever dreamed of having a garden but are constrained by price or space, this is the book for you!" (Patricia McGoldrick Calloway's Nursery )
“Ideas to help patio gardens look polished and planned.” (Nara Schoenberg Chicago Tribune )
“Covers just about everything you want to know about container gardening. I absolutely love [it]!” (Blue Planet Garden Blog.com )
“Fern’s DIY style is made easy and fun with numerous tutorials and crafts throughout the book.” (North Coast Gardening.com )
“From selection of plants to illustrations of how to lay it all out, beginning and experienced gardeners alike will find plenty of inspiration.” (Kylee Baumle Horticulture.com )
“Yes, you can do it all – attract wildlife, grow food, become one with your inner-nature-lover and work with limited lighting on porches, balconies and other small areas.” (Orange County Register )
“Offers a generous list of funky containers.” (San Francisco Chronicle )
"Shares a whole host of ideas for transforming even the tiniest of spaces into something special." (Apartment Therapy )
"Walks you through beautifying a small space, such as a balcony, porch, patio or small yard, even on a tight budget." (Horticulture )
"Packs a great deal of information in a small space." (Cleveland Plain Dealer )
“...shows us how to have an enviable garden without the acreage..." (Curbly.com )
"You’ll find the keys to creating an uncluttered, lush outdoor space that’s not only beautiful, but budget-friendly." (VIV Magazine )
"One of the best new books on this topic." (The Vancouver Sun )
"A beautifully written and designed book." (Nature's Footprint )
"Whether you're planning a small container garden or want to beautify your backyard, this book is full of helpful tips for beginning gardeners." (Green Upgrader )
"Offers suggestions ranging from upcycling and plant repetitions to spray-painting mismatched containers." (Bill Holgan — MCT/ Tribune Papers )
"If you have ever dreamed of having a garden but are constrained by price or space, this is the book for you!" (PM27 Blog )
“It’s packed with gorgeous photographs—making it pleasant to browse through for quick inspiration. The author’s real-life take on small-space gardening makes reading the full text worthwhile." (Fort Worth Examiner )
About the Author
Fern Richardson is the creator of the container gardening blog Life on the Balcony. She is also a master gardener, amateur photographer, and container garden designer.
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