from page -2- of Container Gardening by Patti Barrett
Gardening in containers gives the plant lover, no matter what size his or her
garden may be, the extra gift of flexibility. Even if you have large flower and
vegetable beds on your property, the importance of a few containers for instant
color and drama wherever it's needed can't be underestimated.
If you live in a condominium, apartment, or small home, where space is at a
premium, container gardening takes on a new significance. Remember that you can,
with patients and practice, grow almost any in almost anything that will hold
The choice- what you want to grow and what you want to grow it in - is yours.
And one of the best parts of gardening in containers is that it's fun and easy
to correct any mistakes.
Excerpt from Window Boxes- Indoors & Out James Cramer, Dean Johnson
To Lift Your Spirits In Winter, when you're dying to dig in the dirt but
can't get out in the garden, try forcing bulbs in an indoor window box.
Hyacinths, paperwhite narcissus, tete-a-tete daffodils, and amaryllis can all be
grown this way.
Line the box with a plastic liner, available at garden centers; choose one with
no plugs, or with removable plugs left in, so the box becomes waterproof. Fill
it with a layer of small stones, top with the soil mixture, then space bulbs
several inches apart. The same procedure can be followed with individual
Here in this corner of Western Maryland, summer has an energy all its own. The
fever of spring throttles down to a steady hum, and the crackling heat of July
and August takes over.
At Seven Gates, the gardens have a mind of their own by now. Everything we so
carefully planted in spring erupts in full glory, sometimes in reckless ways we
hadn't anticipated. Our job now is just to keep things within bounds.
The plants in containers need more care. Window boxes miss out on most of the
rainfall because of the overhand of the roof, so even when the ground is soaked
we still make our rounds with the watering can and hose to make sure very plant
gets a drink.
People often ask us where we get our inspiration. The answer is twofold: We
collect old gardening books - when it comes to gardening, the wisdom of
yesterday never goes out of style. And we're always looking for new places to
check out. Last summer we spent two weeks visiting gardens in the English
countryside. And we spend a fair amount of time in Shepherdstown. West Virginia,
just across the border from us; its wealth of stone houses, charming street
scenes, an abundance of window boxes, not to mention the shopping and
restaurants, draw us back again and again.
We sketch our gardens to remember how they looked when we're planting the
following year. When we're on the run, we rely on the camera to do our
remembering for us. In England we took a lot of photos to capture a landscape,
the color of a house, the design of a shutter, a charming planter. And we always
keep a camera in the car, just in case.
In late summer, we feed the window boxes and the gardens with 20-20-20
fertilizer, to force the last blooms from the flowers and grant us a final
display of color and greenery. Then as the curtain falls on the season,
everything gets a good pruning. We used to do this promptly, bringing on fall as
soon as we could. But with every passing year, we're slowing the pace, holding
on to the glory of summer for as long as we possibly can.
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