CONTAINER GARDENING FOR ALL SEASONS: How to Plan, Plant and Grow Imaginative Container Displays for Year-Round Color

Reader's Digest, Author, Reader's Digest, Manufactured by . Reader's Digest $29.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7621-0429-1

The stunning photographs, fresh ideas and step-by-step guides offered here will inspire beginners and experienced gardeners alike to exploit the advantages of containers. Imagination abounds, from professional designs to visits to private gardens and instructions for disguising plastic as stone. Unfortunately, most of the advice is so specifically British that it cannot deliver on its promise of a planting that "thrives in your particular garden environment and local climate." First, there is climate: most of the U.S. is much hotter or colder. Ninety-degree days can shrivel sea pink, pot marigold and many other recommended "summer" plants. Heat stress makes plants susceptible to whitefly and mealy bugs, which are not even mentioned in "Container Pests and Diseases." Winters across most of this country would crack the suggested "frost-proof" ceramics and kill the "permanent display" of jasmine. Wrapping a pot of agapanthus in a sweater and bubble wrap, as one featured gardener does, will not keep it alive through a hard freeze. Plant choices are further complicated by the fact that there are no hardiness ratings given—even for "The Pick of Container Plants," many of which would be difficult to find in local garden centers. Advice on which "compost" (potting soil) to use specifies numbered formulations of a brand not sold here. Long on ideas but short on practicality for U.S. readers, this is a good choice only for those knowledgeable enough to do their own translation. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/07/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
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