Cary's Shelf - Container Gardening is for Everyone

Published Friday, May 6, 2022
Almost anything will grow in a container if you follow a few simple guidelines.

Small yard? No yard? No problem. If the Covid lockdown had any silver lining, it provided many of us with a new opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy nature. "Green" withdrawal is a real thing that effects all of us whether we realize it or not. So much information is available highlighting new ways to bring nature closer to home, from indoor plants (many are pet friendly), a window box, grow your own organic vegetables, or brighten up an entire patio, the options are limitless and can fit any budget.

Container Theme Gardens

Containers are portable, so if you change your mind you can move them around to suit your mood. You can invest in beautiful, hand-glazed ceramics, or lightweight molded foam pots that give you plenty of style without the cost. And plastics have come a long way too, with containers in a variety of colors and patterns. Ready to upcycle? Take an old teapot with a chipped spout, drill a hole in the bottom, fill with dirt and a plant and you've got a lovely patio table centerpiece.

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Grow Bag Gardening

I'm always amazed how many new potatoes Monty Don (host of Britain's Gardener's World TV show) manages to harvest from a grow bag. I'm determined to give this a try. Grow tomatoes on your apartment balcony, or mini hot peppers. So many options.

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Modern Container Gardening

Do you long for an old-fashioned cottage style garden, but are faced with a dried out scrub patch when you look out your window? "Modern" can mean streamlined and minimal, but it also means new approaches to solving gardening challenges. There is no yard, lot or patio that can't be immediately beautified by flowers, greenery, and your favorite weather-resistant ornaments. There are so many drought tolerant options at garden centers now that are so easy to grow!

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Small Garden Style

With a little extra planning, you can layout an "outdoor room" on any scale. You don't have to be a landscape architect to have a vision for your own little oasis. Don't know what flowers to choose? Pick from your favorite colors, then. Ask the garden center folks to recommend what might work in your space.

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Urban Gardening

City dwelling presents many challenges for enjoying green space, but many of us who live in larger towns also find that the most green we are exposed to are swaths of grass and the occasional tree or bush. Better than nothing, of course, but not always inspiring. Urbanites and townies will find something to love in this book.

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How to Grow Your Dinner Without Leaving the House

Okay, I'll grow it if you cook it! Seriously, though, for those of us willing to pay more for organic produce, this type of information could save us money and help us really relate with our food source directly. If you've been tossing around the idea of a small veggie plot or pot, now's your chance.

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RHS Little Book of Small-Space Gardening

The RHS, or Royal Horticultural Society, has been an influential gardening institution in Britain since 1804. If anyone knows how to grow gardens of abundance in small spaces, it's the Brits. In recent years their focus has been habitat gardens that nurture wildlife and insects and control the spread of invasive non-native plants. If they're focusing on small-space gardening, you can be assured this book is a winner.

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The Modern Homestead Garden

For those adventurous folks out there, the idea of living off the grid or trying your hand at sustenance gardening has appeal. In that case, this book might be just what you need to get started on your "back to the land" adventure.

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About the Author

Cary is our Development & Outreach Librarian. Her idea of a perfect day is a complete stereotype: reading or watching British crime fiction with a cup of hot tea close at hand, her favorite quilt, and her cats Clio & Junie on her lap.

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