This is probably my favorite book on the topic of container gardening. Let me tell you why.
It is full of innovative designs with a wide range of ideas.The section on design is like a mini-course covering color,texture,scale and proportion, shape, repetition and grouping, with illustrations that complement the compact definitions. Clearly explaining these concepts.
Interspersed throughout are William’s useful tips such as: “I try to avoid large plantings in pots with narrow bases because they upset the eye by appearing topheavy” (pg. 18) and “Sharp, spikey plants make for a lively and energetic atmosphere”.
The back cover says this book is “reliably practical”, and it is, but also considerably inspiring. The lion share of the book’s pages were given to container recipes and a large plant gallery.
A feature I liked was the information bar across the top of each design,footed by details about both the plants and the container chosen. Each design and the layout given gives visual lessons in good design sense. I loved the many creative plant choices. No tired or mediocre choices to just fill space.
The sections of “how-to” information, ranging from choosing and caring for containers of different materials to choosing soil and taking care of the plants were clear, simple, and full of helpful tips and instructive pictures.
This was more than simply a book on making beautiful containers- though it was that. It was an education in the element of garden design that could be applied to a larger endeavor.
The writing was richly descriptive and flowed smoothly, making it an enjoyable read. There aren’t a large number of garden books especially relegated to container gardening that I would so enthusiastically choose. but is one I’m quite enthusiastic about…
Each part was attentively chosen and brought together to exemplify a fine aesthetic. The author necessarily edits out many intriguing or idiosyncratic designs that individuals may want to explore, but the basics shown give great guidance to those who wish to experiment further with plants, containers, and in their larger spaces of their gardens.
This isn’t a new book, but it is a worthwhile one.