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Cool Green Gardens

Book Giveaway: Container Gardening for All Seasons

Read a review of this book, and post a comment below by July 31 for a chance to win a copy.
Sweetly Spring
Photo/Illustration: Hawaiian Big Hair Day
Read a review of this book, and post a comment below by July 31 for a chance to win a copy.
Sweetly Spring
Photo/Illustration: Hawaiian Big Hair Day

Barbara Wise’s knock-out book, Container Gardening for All Seasons: Enjoy Year-Round Color with 101 Designs (Cool Springs Press, 254 pgs, $21.99 US), belongs on every gardener’s shelf. Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned digger with five years of dirt caked under your nails, there’s something to be learned from this handy book. And just to get you started, I’m giving one away, along with a bonus of a 3-pack of Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew, a great soil conditioner mentioned on page 16. (Find out how to get in the running at the end of this article.) 

I say that Container Gardening is for everyone because beginners will: 

  • Gain confidence in their design abilities; 
  • Learn the fundamentals of horticulture that apply to plants whether they’re in pots or in the ground; and, 
  • Get to start their journey with baby steps that have a low entry commitment and are manageable. 

For experienced gardeners, you’ll be reminded of some basics you might have filed away, and you’ll also discover new plants, and see beautiful design ideas you can apply to your patio, porch, and planter beds. 

The book is logical and simple to follow. Barbara’s first order of business is the big picture stuff that applies to any gardening endeavor – analyzing the site with regard to sun/shade, proximity to a source of water, the context of nearby plants and house colors, and the potential impacts of the containers on their surroundings from water damage. 

  Two container design ideas from the book…
  Sweetly Spring container
  Sweetly Spring is perfect for a sunny to partly sunny early-season arrangement.
  Hawaiian Big Hair
  Hawaiian Big Hair screams “Look at me!”.

Next, you’ll learn about container selection, like picking the right size container so your plants will thrive without their toesies pinching, and matching the style of the pot to the style of garden it will be displayed in (Old World, contemporary, rustic). She even discusses how dark colored pots in sunny locations can cook the roots of your plants.

Moses had his Ten Commandments (or was that Charlton Heston?) and so does Ms. Wise. These start with the importance of good soil, and go on to include observing sun patterns, being realistic about your time commitment and skill level, choosing plants that get along well together, and drainage. Then there’s the need to know the mature size of the plants you choose, feeding and monitoring for pests and disease, and watering. My only quibble with this section is that there’s not enough discussion of watering methods like drip irrigation on timers, so you can go on vacation without enlisting the help of your neighbor’s kid. 

The meat of the book is how it’s organized into cookbook-like recipes. 101 design ideas each start with the sun requirement, a shopping list, and level of difficulty. A simple diagram shows you where to place each plant in the container, and each double-page entry discusses – in Barbara’s clear and engaging writing style – the particulars of each plant, how to place them in the pot (tipping forward, spilling from the side, etc.) and esoteric tidbits you can impress people with at cocktail parties.

The book’s subtitle tells the reader that they’ll “Enjoy Year-Round Color” so the book is divided into seasons, with design combinations that will reach their peak at different times of the year. Wanna knock your guests’ socks off with an over the top porch pot at Thanksgiving? Try “Bamboozled”, a large rectangular box that uses Fargesia rufa ‘Sunset Glow’ bamboo, and mixes it up with variegated gold dust plant (Acuba), bush honeysuckle (Lonicera) sweet flag grass (Acorus ‘Ogon’) and coral bells (Heuchera). 

This is Barbara Wise’s first book, but she’s no stranger to garden writing, displaying her knack for educating while entertaining. She lives just outside of Nashville, having moved there years ago to pursue songwriting, but got sidetracked into a long career in horticulture. Aside from this great book, she shares her deep knowledge and love for plants through her magazine columns and her BWiseGardening blog. If you’re a Twitterererer (oops, got carried away) you can follow her @bwisegardens, and she’s always got something to share at Facebook.

Post a comment by July 31 for a chance to win a copy of this book
Tell us about your container gardening experiences, perhaps how it opened the door to the world of gardening (avocado pits in a windowsill do count). Early in August, we’ll choose one name at random and dispatch a copy and your 3-pack of Authentic Haven Brand soil conditioner to your doorstep. For the rest of you, I hope you’ll add this great book to your library. Better yet, it’s a great gift idea some someone you’d like to introduce to the world of gardening. 
View Comments


  1. JensGarden 07/02/2012

    I lived in an apt for many years before I heard about the container gardening rage. I simply didn't know anything about gardening then but always had a few flowers in a pot. then i bought my house and the world of gardening became very real. i now garden in pots and in the ground. i have so many pots that my co-worker calls me ms. potty. haha

  2. Ms_Tilley 07/02/2012

    Love the "Ten Commandments."
    Gardening in pots certain,y give you the flexibility to change your garden design.....just like rearranging your furniture!

  3. ModernMiaGardening 07/02/2012

    We've been container gardening our veggies for the past 3 years. We've had small successes and delightfully huge failures. The kids seem to only get disappointed when we have large enough produce to eat. They like the smaller, baby produce since it fits into their hands and the girls' purses.

  4. PortlandPH 07/03/2012

    Recipes for containers are a wonderful thing to have. We've been container gardening for years and love the flexibility they offer.

  5. Robfowler 07/03/2012

    Renting meant that we had to build most of our garden via container growing. Always looking to learn more about the art of growing in this style... Now if our indoor plants grew better, that would be helpful.

  6. thisistami 07/03/2012

    we live in a house now, but lived in apartments for many years and loved to have plants in the house. we always just did spider plants and some succulents (my fave!), but now we even have a lemon tree! i love it!

  7. AlysonTheArtist 07/03/2012

    Sounds like a great book... like that diagrams are included! Alway up for new ideas. Our large containers are used to create 'rooms', by dividing the space, one part for lounging and the other for dining.

  8. Alize 07/03/2012

    I've been gardening in containers for years but would love more tips & ideas!
    My all time favorite was an avocado tree my mom gave me, and it had another plant (?) at the bottom.
    I'd love to have this book. Thanks for this opportunity to enter.

  9. geekygardengal 07/03/2012

    I love container gardening! We live in an apartment so I don't have alot of ground outside to plant in, so I have veggies and herbs in pots on my back porch. Sometimes I don't know how much to water them, or what herbs go together well, so a book on that would be awesome! I love flowers too, and try to do alot of companion planting. This book looks great!

  10. PerenniallyCrazy 07/03/2012

    Can't wait to read this book - always up for new ideas. I love container gardening all year round. We even have windowboxes hung on your fence across our windows in between houses just to be able to get more "green" views. Container gardening is like having longer-lasting floral and/or foliage arrangements in on's outdoor rooms all year round and arranging them is so much fun. They can change the mood/theme of the garden from season to season very easily.

  11. akatz 07/03/2012

    Having moved to Central Florida, I began putting almost all my plants in containers to keep them covered in the Winter and to control the environment as best as possible. In the past, my container gardening was mostly in a greenhouse or home. Now they are mostly outdoors. This book looks invaluable for further information and tidbits.

  12. jdigi 07/03/2012

    I would love to be the person who can fill a container with plants that live and look good from one season to the next, who can overwinter a large pot, who gets compliments on combinations and choices of colors, sizes, shapes and fragrances. I am so not that person right now. Billy, you have made me a believer. Barbara Wise's book, Container Gardening for All Seasons, will be my map to success.

  13. laurelbirdsong 07/03/2012

    Sounds like a good book: I design containers, as well as landscapes, for my customers as a way of incorporating annuals (we are in KS zone 5/6) into the landscape in new/ easier/ inventive ways. They add texture and color and awesomely wonderful flavor to our midwestern landscape. I really love incorporating small trees, tall grasses or bamboo for lovely height and mass! thanks... LBS

  14. stuie60 07/03/2012

    I enjoy container gardening and gardening as most of the time &when I can get outside and work on it. I like gardening just ingenral. It makes me happy to do it & see the prity flowers as resolse that come with it.I just LOIVE to garden & container gardening.

  15. smergles 07/04/2012

    I am a real green newbie! So green in fact, that today I am going outside to start planting my very first containers. I am so excited I can't wait for the sun to come up! All night I was planting in my sleep. THinking where to put this or that, worrying about will it live, does it need more sun etc etc etc. I am sure I will run out of steam by the afternoon since it is still only 5am and I have been up since 3! I would love to learn more and this book seems like a great start. Thank you for the opportunity to enter your contest.

  16. SandraNC 07/04/2012

    You learn so much from the articles....Always look forward to anything you offer,,The tidbits are candy for the gardners.Both new and old alike...Thanks for all the wonderful advice....Keep it coming...........

  17. BillyGoodnick 07/05/2012

    Nice to see so much enthusiasm for Barbara Wise's book.
    SandraNC: Music to my ears. Nice to know that what interests me resonates with others.

  18. general801 07/05/2012

    The book contains lots of plant selections that are easy to find. Makes duplicating Barbara's fantastic looking containers very simple.

  19. WIslandgardener 07/06/2012

    Looks like a great book. Another Taunton winner!

  20. butterfly3 07/07/2012

    I think I'll get this book. I'm fairly new to container gardening but found this to be a way to relax after a long week at work. I enjoy flowers and want to learn more how I can bring these into my home during our cold season here in Nebraska. I also like one source with all the information to do this right.

  21. jzl56 07/08/2012

    Barbara's book would be a great addition to my gardening library. Each year I enjoy putting together a colorful container for the porch. Now I have some window boxes on a new shed...would love some new ideas for these new spots to garden.
    Janet, The Queen of Seaford

  22. Westerner 07/08/2012

    With container gardening, I have expanded my plant palette to include those plants with cultural requirements that can't easily be met by existing site conditions in my landscape, i.e. acidic soil: Japanese camellia and high water needs: Japanese maple.

  23. gbread 07/08/2012

    Actually I enjoy cooking much more than gardening and have always wondered why everyone who says they "can't cook" won't just "follow a recipe". Now, thanks to Barbara, I have no excuse for not having luscious, beautiful containers.
    Delicious idea!

  24. Bonniebelle 07/08/2012

    Before my container gardening has usually been limited to just flowers but this year I am trying growing different vegetables and herbs on my deck due to problems with deer, rabbits and other wildlife. I'm growing tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, strawberries, mint, basil, parsley, oregano, lavender, and flowers in various containers and planter boxes and totally loving my organic garden!

  25. MarianJ 07/08/2012

    After reading your review on “Container Gardening for All Seasons” I feel like I must have it. It will be great to get a fresh perspective on indoor gardening, often a prelude to going outside and claiming a piece of lawn. I look forward to winner. (Smile)

  26. rebeccathom 07/09/2012

    When I have customers pick out planters and ask me come up with the color/plant combinations for them, I always get stumped as to what to recommend. I think this book may give me a little more insight and give me some inspiration. That would be nice :)

  27. knottslp 07/09/2012

    I've been using more and more container gardening in the last few years. Lots of veggies and things like avacado, pineappe tops and the picky-picky Daphne plant are so much easier care for. Easy to move for more or less sun and of course to give away and trade. I use pots for all kinds of squash and beans, just cover the top with fine mesh till they sprout keeps the critters from digging up the seed. This book looks like one I would love to read from cover to cover.

  28. nstarr 07/09/2012

    With age, I have had to reduce some of the physical demands of gardening. Container gardening has allowed me to have an attractive display without the digging and bending that has become difficult. Container displays have become much more interesting than they were in my earlier days as a gardener when they were largely limited to annuals.

  29. Heshi 07/09/2012

    Can't wait to get this beautiful book. I will read with my morning coffee and then re-read with my afternoon coffee.
    Descriptives such as "fundamentals" and "baby steps" both remind and teach what can become a pretty creation.

  30. Connied 07/09/2012

    I have spent the last 20 years living in a condo, growing only house plants. I have recently moved to a single family house, but my significant other does not want me to plant a garden in our yard. I would love to try growing veggies in containers. It has been a concern as to how I can maintain the plants; watering, weeding, etc. without working at it full time. I have also never thought about the pot color creating additional heat and cooking the roots, as you meantioned. I would love to have this book, as a good basis for my newly founded gardening delight.

  31. user-7006935 07/09/2012

    I have tried container gardening over the years with varying degrees of success. It wasn't until last year that I purchased an inexpensive drip irrigation system for the pots on my deck that I began to realize real success. I noted in your comments that there is not much in the book about other types of watering techniques.
    I plan on expanding my container selections next year. I'm doing things incrementally to ensure I don't have too many irons in the fire. I'll look at this book at the local book store and decide if it will be a good purchase for me. Of the over 100 gardening books I have none are devoted to container gardening. Maybe it is time.

  32. CieK 07/09/2012

    The older I get, the more I love container gardening!

  33. eliza88 07/09/2012

    I love container gardening! For many years was my only garden on a balcony. Looks like a nice book.

  34. cwheat000 07/09/2012

    Container gardening is great because it allows you to focus on one small space and do it well. The results are often better than my larger planting areas. I would to see what ideas are in the book.

  35. user-7006936 07/09/2012

    I've been gardening a while but I'm now living in the desert southwest and it's my biggest challenge yet. This book sounds exciting to me. I think anyone can have a nice looking container for a short period of time but keeping it looking good for a season, or more would be fantastic. I love the idea of great looking containers all year!

  36. Terriyaki2 07/09/2012

    I adore container gardening! I create many for friends every year. They think they can't choose the right plants. This book would sure help them with that and make it so much easier for them. I like containers because I can move them where I want for specific events happening here, add splashes of color by way of the pot and the plants and just brighten the house and gardens. I look forward to adding this book to my collection!

  37. cat_mompokemon 07/09/2012

    Container gardening is my only hope. My husband mows over anything I plant in the rest of the yard. I don't have much luck with hanging plants because I forget to water them. Right now I have one pot that seems to be working for me. This book just might give me some clues as to how to do it right in the hot sun of Kansas.

  38. Chonka 07/09/2012

    This looks like a great book for inspiration! I love containers, but would love to be inspired with new ideas - especially for the seasons! I love that Ms. Wise considers time commitment and skill level! Can't wait!

  39. iowalee 07/09/2012

    I am hoping that this contains some fall season and maybe, gasp, some for winter in Iowa. We do get some nice fall weather, but it is cold at night. I haven't found anything that looks good in my containers in the fall. I have had good luck with vegetables in containers, but not as good of luck with flowers. Sounds like a great book!

  40. SETaft 07/09/2012

    Even though we live on an acre with several gardens, constructing portable container gardens remains one of my favorite activites.

  41. aacrane 07/09/2012

    I started loving gardening while I was living in a duplex, and the only control I had over the yard were my pots! I had some spectacular failures over the years, and learned little by little, how to do better. (Gaining a new friend who was a florist/horticulturist didn't hurt one bit!) Moving to my home in Seal Beach, CA 5 years ago, I needed to change my outdoor environment on a low budget: re-doing the yards/patios was not an option, then. Purchasing large pots and different plants was my solution....and I have had GREAT success! I have to be careful not to go container-crazy at every sale, and to remember to edit my selections. More is not always best. Sometimes, it's just MORE! I bet the new book would be a helpful addition as I move forward, and use my pots even better!

  42. Menonaqua 07/09/2012

    The book's cover is enough to get me to pick it up. Looking for more ideas for incorporating larger focus plants, especially ones that I can figure out how to winter over in Zone 4, or plant in my garden at end of summer. Annuals are darn expensive when you buy as many as I do!

  43. CherylSullivan 07/09/2012

    Have been a avid gardener for years, I love the way container gardening brings versatility to the garden. There are endless possibilities to a gardener when presented with a pot and plants. Each container created is a magical journey that unfolds to tell a story. They are like "accessories" for your landscape, be it entry way or a "ho hum" corner that needs a bright spot. There is always something that "pops" and grabs the viewer's eye for closer inspection. Would love to have this book as a reference for new ideas for years to come.

  44. Chestsiresmile 07/09/2012

    This would be helpful for me. A nice choice of much needed Guidance,plus some thing to show my friends who are newbies and ask a lot of questions. Now fallowing you on twitter.thank you

  45. skojoe 07/09/2012

    I always suspected there was a root problem growing tomatoes in large black pots. Just reading the review a learned somthing. Can't wait to see what else I need to know to be successful growing in containers.

  46. dkweiner 07/09/2012

    I love to have containers of flowers on my deck. This book sounds as if I would learn how to step out of my comfort zone of geraniums, impatiens, and marigolds!

  47. peonylover 07/09/2012

    For the first time I have put quite a few plants in containers and placed them in strategic spots in front of the house. What a difference. Next year I will do more of that. The house looks so much more friendly with the containers.

  48. stuie60 07/09/2012

    I like to contaner garden and allso like to do gardening as well. Ijust like to do it all that is gardening of all tips of it. iIt makes me very happy to do my GARDENING every day when the weather promets to let me do it that day.I have started some seeds last year and it was some Milkweed plants and thay are doing very well in my garden right know. The butterflies are liking the milkweed plants as well. Thay look onederfull at that. The milkweeds are very big and tall too.

  49. bccrane 07/09/2012

    I love container gardening - I am always a sucker for buying akk the cool pots at the stores. However my plantings never look as good as the ones in the store. I would enjoy this book to help me improve on my containers and make them look wonderful.

  50. Debra_Caldwell 07/09/2012

    This makes me want to start container gardening especially since we just built a cover over our patio area. I have a bad lower back so this would work great for me. The pictures look so cool, inviting, and relaxing.

  51. Mike7561 07/09/2012

    I've been container gardening my whole life, But as long as I;ve been doing it there is still much more to learn from other people. Being disabled really limits my gardening but I still can do containers easily. So send me a copy and I'll put it to good use!! HaHa!!

  52. Urbanlander 07/09/2012

    A friend once told me that a great container planting should "fill, thrill and spill." I haven't quite gotten there yet, but it's great advice and the cover planting on this book really demonstrates that.

    I love container plantings for many reasons, but especially because I can use them to fill in blank spots in my flower garden. There always seems to be spots where things have just finished blooming and other plants haven't bloomed yet. Container arrangements are perfect for filling in the gaps and adding color where there may not be much, as in a shade garden.

  53. user-7006937 07/09/2012

    When faced with a pot or container, I go blank as to what to plant. This book seems to be a god-send for someone such as I.

  54. gardensweep 07/09/2012

    A few years ago when I moved to my present home, my next door neighbor gave me a house warming gift, which consisted of a pink pot, with compost, and a bag of pink Zinnias, and that was the begging for me, she change my life, and gave me an introduction to my very own private moments, in my garden where I can reflect on things, play, and even behave like a mad scientist, experimenting always with anything I can possibly grow.

  55. gladysoto 07/09/2012

    I love container gardening. Unfortunelly I got disability a year ago.Now I have more time for gardening and since I depend on my family, I don't know where I am going to be in the future.That is why I keep my plants in containers in case I have to move again. I have small trees, ornamental grasses, roses, hydrangeas, you name it. Ja,ja no one of my babies is going to be left behind!.This book looks amaizing for my plants and the new ones to come.

  56. Lowmar 07/09/2012

    As I have gotten older, I garden more in pots. Would love to win this book.

  57. caribooster 07/09/2012

    Gardening here in central British Columbia requires a lot of ingenuity. A lot of my containers start life in the greenhouse and live there until it's safe to put them outside. The plants themselves get started under lights when there's still snow (sometimes a LOT!) on the ground. Planning the containers while I cross-country ski brings Spring close.r

  58. caribooster 07/09/2012

    Gardening here in central British Columbia requires a lot of ingenuity. A lot of my containers start life in the greenhouse and live there until it's safe to put them outside. The plants themselves get started under lights when there's still snow (sometimes a LOT!) on the ground. Planning the containers while I cross-country ski brings Spring close.r

  59. superstar1 07/09/2012

    Thanks to Barbara's book, I might be able to keep my container gardens alive this year!!! Love the book!

  60. TennisPlayer6 07/09/2012

    My first container plant was an avocado plant. It grew fine although yielded no fruit. Through the years I have tried container gardening but need help in the artistic side of it. Knowing which plants work well together and which don't. This book looks like the one I need to help me. Thanks for writing this book!

  61. beastwood 07/09/2012

    I'm known for starting plants in small containers and then transplanting them into larger ones. My latest success is getting lemongrass to grow from a stalk I bought at the grocery store. It took a lot of nurturing but it finally starting to produce in a big pot I placed in our greenhouse since it's too cold to grow outdoors in the northwest.

  62. dragonswing 07/09/2012

    With my soil being clay and shale, I do all my veggie and herb gardening in containers. They taste just as good.

  63. spider4 07/09/2012

    As I get older, my back makes it difficult to garden in the ground. I have been considering container gardening for a while, and like the idea of decorative plants as well as veggies. I have purchased a few pots, seeds and soil, and will be starting some seeds in late August and September (planting time here on the TX Gulf Coast is often Sept.-Feb. for plants that are planted in the spring in the northern states). I think that this book would be a help in planning my 'new' garden.

  64. plantboss 07/09/2012

    Sounds just like what I need! This will give the inspiration that for those fabulous pots I see on Fine Gardening.

  65. user-7006938 07/09/2012

    Every year I vow that my containers will POP - cause oohs and ahhs and they do -- for at least the 1st month. Then they seem to wilt before my eyes. I believe my problem is overplanting and mixing plants with different water or light requirements - then of course I overwater as well. This book sounds like just the help that I need to solve my problems and design flaws.

  66. novice_gardener 07/09/2012

    Just reading the review provided needed information. I never gave the color of a container much thought except that it would fit in my color scheme. I didn't think about color and sun and what it could do to plants.
    I have read about container gardening but have not tried it yet. This book appears to fit the bill for getting started!

  67. bkristl 07/09/2012

    I need some height in my garden, fast! If only I knew how not to kill every thing I have in a container that would be the perfect solution...

  68. User avater
    PKKing 07/09/2012

    Love, love, love container gardening. Earlier this year I discovered some old clay chimney pots left by the former owner of my house and am growing herbs and tomatoes in them. Because they are so tall, roots can grow very deep. Maybe I'll try some root veges next? Would love to have this book to add to my library.

  69. penelopelove 07/09/2012

    I have always grown plants in pots no matter where I lived. Since I was a military brat, we moved around a lot. So I could always take my potted plants with me. I still do that to this day. It also makes it easier to move them around into the shade so they do not get burned. I could not live without growing plants.

  70. user-1123676 07/09/2012

    There are very beautiful pictures in this book.

  71. ljkrfnc 07/10/2012

    I have some containers that are doing well, but usually it is either too hot or too wet here. This year I planted cut and come again lettuces in a big pot by my south side front door and have had salad very early. I planted it in March on one of our early warm days. I will try some mesculin next year. I also have peppers in a big pot on the deck.

  72. ssgardengirl 07/10/2012

    Every year I swear I'll plant fewer containers, but that, of course never happens! A lot of what most people think of as annuals get overwintered in my basement 'greenhouse' where I have a big light. I have a lot of fun starting coleus and other plants from cuttings, and 'gardening' in the basement over the winter. Some tropicals end up in the garage for the winter, and others wait out winter in sunny south windows. Overwintering lots of plants indoors lets me indulge my container addiction even on a budget.

    Barbara's book on container gardening sounds wonderful. I'm always looking for inspiration.

  73. 325banker 07/10/2012

    This sounds like just the book to take my container gardening to the next level.

  74. larecca4 07/10/2012

    I find the photos are inspiring.

  75. Dunkinjean 07/10/2012

    I have been container gardening for just a few years. This year I am trying Lavender in one container and strawberries in another container. I didn't realize how much more effort can go into a container garden that would give me better results. Thank you for the opportunity to try to win this exciting book.

  76. DonnaMurphy 07/10/2012

    I have just begun my journey into gardening, and I started with a few small containers with herbs on my deck. Sages, basil, mints, oregano and thyme now flavour my dishes, and the lush growth cheers me every time I go out the door!

  77. TorinSC 07/10/2012

    I have used containers off and on for years. Since I moved to the hot and humid south, I got away from containers thinking they would be too much trouble trying to keep them watered. This year, however, I decided to plant my tomatoes and a couple peppers in buckets. The tomatoes all went into white 5 gallon buckets, but the peppers went into leftover large black nursery pots. I have been having trouble with the peppers wilting, although they get a good watering everyday. I now have the answer to my problem...the black pot is baking them! I can see where this book would be a welcome addition to my gardening library!

  78. Seascape 07/10/2012

    What an amazing book. I've always wanted to adorn my home with containers of flowers and/or herbs and never really knew where to begin. Result - not so good results. This book sounds like it simplifies the process and has the added bonus of translating to non-container gardening ideas. Brilliant!

  79. addingtongarden 07/10/2012

    Would love to win this book 'Container Gardening for All Seasons' because that's exactly what I do...container garden all season long. This book would be a wonderful addition to my gardening library. Container gardening is a passion of mine and I absolutely love learning more about it!

  80. bluemoonalone 07/10/2012

    I want to do more container gardening.. this book would be valuable in helping me create more beautiful container gardens!!!

  81. passwords 07/10/2012

    Container gardening can add so much color to an area regardless where they are placed. Wonderful books like this give so many helpful hints about color, plant combinations, etc. I like to have multiple pots going in various spots. I need all the help that I can get. Thanks.

  82. WilmaWoodson 07/11/2012

    I have a very small Patio and wasn't sure that I could grow a Garden. Before when I tried to grow a house plant, it died.

    I love waking up and going out to check out on my Garden Friends. I often eat my Breakfast with them and ask 'How are you guys doing today?' and they smile back and say, 'I'm thirsty. Can I have some water?'

    I have a Facebook Page http://Facebook.com/MyPatioGarden sharing my experience and tips.

  83. Vladimir2010 07/11/2012

    Look, please, new type ION-EXCHAGE SUBSTRATE for container gardening


  84. JulieG1002 07/11/2012

    For years I've been wanting to create a container garden on my tiny little balcony. Hope this book is the one to motivate me to do it.

  85. user-1099038 07/11/2012

    Container gardens are sometimes the little touch that a garden, porch or entry needs to make it beautiful.

  86. feb15 07/11/2012

    I love container gardening as it adds dimension to otherwise hard lines. I have mixed flowers with herbs

  87. Lyn970 07/11/2012

    I have a few containers around my yard but would love to be able to create ones that look like professonials did. I have had luck with starting new plants in pots with the seeds from the ploants that I have growing now.

  88. EthelL 07/12/2012

    I've dabbled with some container gardening through the years but had always had ample room to grow gardens pretty much as I desired in the yards. Where we are now we have small front and back yards but the soil is very poor and neither my husband nor I are able to do a lot of heavy work so we aren't able to dig up a lot of ground and replenish it with soil amendments. We have managed to get a couple of small raised beds built but recently I have begun to get more interest in containers. I have a few now, some of which I have started myself but am looking for more information on starting, maintaining and showing them to their best advantage.

    This book looks like one that would help me get more information. Possibly it could also help me become more informed on plants that would be best for containers in my area as I am just learning how to readjust the knowledge I was raised with to this area as this is a lot hotter and dryer climate than where I grew up and learned to garden. I also have been doing craft work again and have begun making some containers and this book also looks like it could help with some of the fine-tuning of those containers.

    Thanks for sharing this review.

  89. dashwp 07/12/2012

    After we moved to our house ten years back, I started missing my previous garden which was by far bigger than this one. Yet, I have managed to create a sizeable garden with my knowledge of growing plants. Some plants will come back every year,so needless to say, I have to expand my garden space, so to speak. So, I have now been compelled to do container gardening, to accommodate the various new varieties I always want to try. I am not a beginner at this, but need to learn a new way of gardening, in the container.

  90. 123Marlena 07/12/2012

    I love container gardening. I find the time I spend "pottering" on my deck to be the most relaxing. In this summer of drought and high heat, my containers still look great because I'm maintaining smaller pieces of the pie and they're all nearby to keep a close eye on.

  91. user-45662 07/12/2012

    Having spent the last two years trying to do a large garden, I decided to do some container gardening and need help in learning what plants to mix together. This book sounds awesome in that respect and it will help me pick the right containers.

  92. Burge 07/12/2012

    No matter how much hort information spins around in your brain there is so much more to learn. This book appears to be laid out nicely. If I don't win it will be on my library request list.

  93. OWButterflies 07/12/2012

    Your images are wonderful and I can't wait to read more. I'm always looking for new flower pot ideas! I would love to win this book, Thank you!

  94. FireMonkey 07/12/2012

    After living in a dark studio apt in NYC for 15 years and feeding my flower habit by clipping every article I could find on gardening, I finally got sprung from urban jail and let loose on my new boyfriend's country garden and front porch. Our first container collaboration was very successful, thanks to a few trips onto the Fine Gardening website. Our front porch has three nice, full, well-balanced mini gardens, as I think of them. It's shady there. I was thrilled to discover Persian Shield, and we used it as a base for the color scheme. As various plants got tired or leggy, I pulled them out (with gusto! A new skill---used to feel sorry for them and nurse them along till it got depressing.)When the big apricot foxglove in the center of the largest container went to seed, I transplanted it to the backyard and replaced it with a clump of good-looking, tall, tasseled grass I found near my Mom's driveway in Maine. Fun! Just not sure where we will have room to winter over our favorite plants in our not too sunny home here in Clinton Corners, NY>

  95. PattyBinNC 07/12/2012

    I've started placing fairly good sized containers out in my perennial beds where I need a shot of color or where I want a little more vertical interest. It's kind of interesting to mix and match multiple plants in one container; I'm still learning how to make these combinations dramatic.

  96. librarina 07/13/2012

    I'm encouraged, now, to try some container gardening. Always thought it was a good idea, but didn't know where to start, what to choose. I'm on my way now!

  97. gardenergg 07/14/2012

    Containers add so much color to my mostly perennial gardens. Last year a local greenhouse let us come in and plant our pots in April. They kept them in the greenshouse, watered and fed them until after the last frost date. It was wonderful to see how established and big the plants grew in 6 weeks.

  98. rte626 07/15/2012

    Just finished watching Barbara Wise on WNPTs Volunteer Gardener-great tips and beautiful results! I'm a beginner gardener and would love this book for ideas to spruce up my porch and patio :)

  99. garnet425pro 07/15/2012

    I live in a coperative building - with concrete paving all around the building. Using containers, I have been able to create a lush garden of prennienals, hydrangeas, hostas,lilies and rosebushes to name a few. Using recycled bathtubs(from apt unit renovations) with concrete block surrounds I have created large planting areas that are filled with climbing rose bushes and clematis vines - and prenniel flowers. Currentely I have 5 of these recycled planters with 4 half barrel planters. The half barrels hold trees with flowere. I am constantly on the lookout for other items that can be used as containers for my garden.

    This book will be a great reference for me

  100. OlderGdnr 07/16/2012

    As a gardener with disabilities I'm thinking I'll have to more to container gardening to satisfy my need to dig in the dirt without getting on my knees. The containers I'm seeing are just beautiful and I wouldn't mind trying them out - maybe one at a time.

  101. HappyHives 07/16/2012

    I love this post and I'm sure to love the book too. Lately, it's been so hot the only negative of using so many containers is keeping them watered! Yet, I love the versatility and flexibility of containers both with switching combinations up and I can also move them around to create more interest anywhere!

  102. meemasbug5 07/16/2012

    I love to container garden, especially veggies. The hot weather and no rain in the Midwest has made it very difficult. I would like to plant a mini rose bush in a container but I'm not sure what to do with it over the winter months. Maybe this book would help me out with this.

  103. cvgardener 07/16/2012

    I have an entire garden in containers, but am always looking for ways to improve. Looks like a great book!

  104. Katzpawz 07/16/2012

    Living in a small space (40 ft. mobile home) with a yard the size of a postage stamp; this book would be a terrific help for me. The information is great and the photos are beyond terrific! Anything that can hold anything is fair game for me!

  105. snollygaster 07/16/2012

    I need this book! My containers for hot, dry sites need help.
    Thanks for the opportunity and all the wonderful info.

  106. DonnaMurphy 07/16/2012

    I'm a beginner gardener, and learning as I "grow". Containers are a great way to get started!

  107. hummergirl 07/16/2012

    I would love to win this book! I have recently had to switch to gardening in containers due to deer, groundhogs, and squirrels. Maybe it will tell me how to keep the squirrels from stealing my tomatoes from my container plants!
    The little thieves wait until they are almost ready to pick, then-bam! it's gone!
    I also have many plants in pots for the hummingbirds on my deck so I can enjoy them close up.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win it!!
    By the way, I LOVE Fine Gardening magazine!!

  108. Whirligig 07/16/2012

    We just built a new deck and I need containers to complete the look! I have gardened for several years, but need to learn to put "pazazz" into containers. This book sounds like the answer to by need. I really enjoy your newsletter!

  109. user-940758 07/16/2012

    My granddaughter spent 10 summers with me and worked side by side with me as a volunteer in a local arboretum. She now has a place of her own but will be moving frequently with her job. This summer we selected some pots and flowers and she did a great job. I think this book would be ideal for her as she expands her collection of pots for container gardening which she can take with her when she moves. I would love to win it to pass on to her.

  110. mjlopezfig 07/16/2012

    Although I have a big yard, I also have 4 dogs saved from the street that love to dig so pots are a great alternative. I live the fact that the book is written for all level users, from newbies to old hands. I love to make gifts of cuttings and could learn to make them more beautiful by reading this book.
    Thanks for the chance to try and win it.

  111. LindaAnnGA 07/17/2012

    OMG! I could really use this book! I know NOTHING! BUT, I really want to learn. This book would be great for me. I have a great deck at home that I would love to put some containers on and a Camper in the mountains that I would like to put some flowers or something in. I just need a little help to get started.

  112. psenne101 07/18/2012

    Great idea,can't wait to get my copy, i work in Horticulture, and i make mixed combo as part of my job...this will be an awesome resource tool for my team.

  113. BettyBoop2 07/19/2012

    I have several pots and would love to have this book to make my combinations better with some new ideas. It is such fun to change things in the pots each year while the perennial garden matures.

  114. user-754311 07/19/2012

    I love container gardening! I would love to have this book to help me with designing containers so they are eye-catching and I'd love to have the ability or knowledge to make statements with my flowers in containers! They dry out fast with the heat we've had and I'd like to know ways to help with this. I do put mulch on top of them but only helps for a little while.

  115. shawnte 07/20/2012

    I love to garden and am always looking for new container ideas. This book sounds like a great addtion to my library.

  116. tkphoto 07/23/2012

    I have often comitted to container selections for the "look" without considering the needs of each plant. This sounds like a great book for my gardening library! I need year round ideas now that I live near Pugit Sound.

  117. nadwa 07/24/2012

    Hello .. I have no garden, but a group of plants in containers trying to arrange to fit the shape of the place .. But the only drawback is that the climate in my country is hot terribly reach the stairs T temperature in more than 50 degrees Celsius and in winter up sometimes to below zero centigrade.
    This extremism also between night and day, up the difference between 20-25 degrees Celsius. That is sometimes the best survival Nbatate alive the beauty of the place and although it has a presence at the entrance of a beautiful home and my friends and my relatives go.

  118. mcromans 07/24/2012

    When I visit a garden center in search of container plants, if I haven't done my homework, I find myself overwhelmed. My containers have been much more successful when I find an inspiration photo to take with me to the garden center. With 101 designs, it sounds like this book is could easily be my muse!

  119. nadwa 07/26/2012


    pleasure to visit my page ornamental plants on facebook


  120. BeckyBee 07/27/2012

    I love to design my containers over the winter, looking for interesting combinations of texture, color, height and trailing over the edge. Then to see how my ideas come into full glory by the end of August here in MI is my reward!! My favorite is to use ordinary house plants, my Tradescantia zebrina (Wandering Jew) "vacations" in several of my containers and absolutely goes crazy! My Tradescantia pallida (Purple Heart)never reaches its full glory in the house, but in my outdoor containers it is absolutely beautiful!

  121. TheSubversiveHippie 07/30/2012

    MY first experience with container gardening was when I was very young. I helped my grandmother plant veggies in big pots on her south facing screened porch. She lived in the river bottoms in a house about 9ft off the ground so growing things outside was difficult with possible flooding. Even though I now have a large garden area at our farm, I still grow some annuals, an heirloom veggie or two, and some berries in containers on my deck.

  122. gailrose 07/31/2012

    I truly believe that the key to a great looking container planting is to choose the right container first before choosing the plants to go into it. The color, shape, proportion, height, and texture of the container is vital to a great composition. This book will help me make the right choice! Thank you.

  123. user-5191463 08/15/2015

    I have used containers for gardening for at least the last 7 years I have used these kind of books for inspiration. I love designing with anything that can be a container for plants

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