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Small-Space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage & Herbs [Paperback]

Fern Richardson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 9.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

22 Feb 2012
With small spaces, lack of privacy, and unlimited greenery, being a city-dweller can be tough. Luckily, Fern Richardson is here to help with a fun-filled guide to transforming a balcony, patio, or rooftop into a gorgeous garden oasis. Starting with the basics, including light requirements, this book will show you how to choose the best potting soil, the proper way to pot, and when and how to water. The bulk of the book features inspiring and easy-to-follow design ideas that can be recreated by gardeners of any level of experience with varying amounts of space.

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Frequently Bought Together

Small-Space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage & Herbs + The Balcony Gardener: Creative Ideas for Small Spaces + The Edible Balcony: Growing Fresh Produce in the Heart of the City
Price For All Three: 32.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (22 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604692413
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604692419
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 21.3 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Richardson's friendly, non-hoticultural style makes this a great beginner's guide. For urban gardners with an itch to make the most of their balconies and roof terraces, this is an inspirational starting point. --Camilla Phelps, Gardens Illustrated

Beautifully illustrated, this handy guide is packed full of ideas. --Garden News

About the Author

Fern Richardson is the creator of the critically acclaimed blog Life on the Balcony. She is also a master gardener, photographer, and garden designer.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not worth buying, read her blog 12 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not worth buying in the UK as the book is aimed at an American audience, so much of her gardening advice is not relevant. The book would have been worth a buy despite this for the DIY projects, but most of these, if not all, are available on her blog.

With the lack of originality and American focus I wish I had bought a different book, as there is a wide variety of material out there focusing on small spaces and container gardens.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book - I really like how it is presented 13 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after seeing a home-made vertical garden featured on-line. A great book - I really like how it is presented. BIG about small things :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gardens on balconies?OMG can you beleive it? 19 Oct 2013
By Decibel
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I live in the city, i always loved plants and wanted to have a garden, one day i was thinking how could i make my balcony which is quite large like a garden. So i was searching on the net to know more, i saw this book, i looked inside and i saw how it was exactly what my mind was thinking of. So i bought it. I am very pleased it gives a lot of ideas to make even the smallest balcony a place with plants, tables and relaxing corners; the woman who wrote it Fern Richardson lives in LA, she explains about the type of planting, ideal even for the smallest balcony, she also offers some ideas how to pick furniture to make it larger and delightful. I am so very pleased about this book, i can't still believe that i found a book about what exactly i had in mind, it absolutely serves the purpose to transform my balcony in a small Eden. Thank you to Amazon and seller! GOOD JOB!!!
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and easy to read 28 Mar 2012
By D. Coplan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I got this book because (A)I live in an apartment complex and (B)I have whatever the opposite of a green thumb is - a magenta thumb? I kill, unintentionally, every plant I've brought into my life, no matter how robust.

This book has me on the path to leafy rehabilitation. It's very thorough, covering topics I wasn't even aware were a consideration. It's very easy to read in a large format with plenty of pictures and examples.

Even if I'm a hopeless case, at the very least this book has imparted knowledge upon me I didn't previously have. While I may not create the next award-winning small space botanical extravaganza (or I may!), I've certainly gained a valuable appreciation for what goes into a successful garden.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful gardens in small spaces. 10 April 2012
By allanbecker-gardenguru - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Small-Space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage, and HerbsOne doesn't need a yard in order to garden. In the equal-opportunity world that many of us inhabit, anyone who wishes to grow plants ought to be able to do so, no matter where they reside. The fact that so many apartment-dwellers and condo-owners choose gardening as their passion, speaks not only to the ingenuity and zeal of the individual hobbyist, but also to the versatility and adaptability of most plants to container gardening.

Master Gardener, Fern Richardson writes about small-space gardening with an authentic voice. She lives in an apartment with minimal outdoor living area, yet manages to grow food, flowers, and plants with only a balcony and front porch as her garden. Her book is filled with ingenious ways to convert tiny areas into outdoor oases, complete with plant vegetation and small-scale furniture so that anyone's balcony, porch, or tiny patio may become a multi-purpose outdoor living area.

The author's book is divided into nine easy, comprehensive lessons. Chapter One over arches the main elements of a small garden, namely the colors, shapes, sizes, and textures, of plants and containers, appropriate furniture, and the option of lighting. Chapter Two discusses the pivotal role that weather and climate play in affecting the productivity, hardiness, and health of container-grown plants. The third chapter offers suggestions for attracting wildlife and the fourth is about growing food - yes, one can grow food in containers. Read the book to discover how it can be done.

The author grows, figs, peaches nectarines, and blueberries on her balcony in Southern California, and offers suggestions for successfully growing vegetables, not only in her warm climate but also in colder areas where, due to shorter growing seasons, seeds must germinate quickly. Readers who garden in northern locations will be pleased that the author has paid attention to their climate needs.

Chapter Five includes a photo essay on designing with succulents and aromas. The theme of the sixth chapter is about building privacy, while the seventh introduces lushness and verticality in the form of wall gardens and vertical plants that draw the eye upward to relieve a feeling of claustrophobia that sometimes occurs in small spaces.

The eighth chapter is aptly titled Green Thumb Crash Course, Learning the Essentials for Success. Here, the author writes about the importance of using high quality potting soil, essential details for container planting, repotting root bound plants, the role of fertilizer and irrigation, bulb forcing, whether or not to deadhead, and pruning technique. The last chapter is devoted to troubleshooting pests and diseases. In this fascinating segment, we learn how some companion plants help to control such uninvited guests. Even readers who do not garden in containers might find reasons to include these beneficial plants in their growing beds.

It must be mentioned that the photography sourced for this book is outstanding. To illustrate Ms. Richardson's text, the works of over thirty illustrious garden photographers were tapped. For example, the cover image by Marie Viljoen that is repeated on page 72 is a masterpiece of narrative photography and composition.

All of the stunning visuals enhance the reader's understanding of the advice offered by Fern Richardson, who, by the way, is an extraordinarily effective communicator. Add to this recipe, Timber Press' hallmark, avant-garde graphic design, and the result is a publication that raises the artistic bar for all future gardening manuals. This is a beautiful and inspiring book to own.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Container Gardens 2 Oct 2012
By tmtrvlr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As soon as the first frost hits here I am planning for next year's plantings. Small-Space Container Gardens has already helped me start planning for our spring porch and deck. No matter what your available space, this book has something for you.

The first few chapters set the scene by choosing colors, containers settings, and location. Following that there is information on attracting wildlife and growing food plants in containers. There is a section on succulents and scents, and a chapter on privacy planting. You can learn to create a vertical garden, and battle pests. There is even a green thumb crash course. This is just a brief summary of what is in this information packed book.

The book helps with ideas for designing not just individual pots but, an entire patio or porch. There is something for the spacious areas for those who live in the country as well as those who have limited space in the city. Large or small, there are planting ideas for all.

There are several projects for inexpensive pot upgrades and very unique ideas using thrift shop or found items. My favorite project was the beautiful garden table that would be so simple to create with only a few materials.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for urban/small space gardeners 29 Feb 2012
By Ben English - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book has tons of great ideas for gardeners with space constraints like myself. I never know where to start at the garden center and this book has given me tons of inspiration.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chic, elegant container designs and DIY projects 30 Mar 2012
By Gen of North Coast Gardening - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Fern's stylish blog Life on the Balcony for some time. Fern's like an approachable version of Martha Stewart for container gardeners - while her photos and ideas are gorgeously inspiring, her projects are never so difficult or time-consuming that I feel I couldn't possibly fit them into a weekend, unlike some of Martha's cool but overly involved eye candy.

So when Fern's new book Small-Space Container Gardens came out, I already had two copies pre-ordered, one for myself and one to give as a gift. I just knew I was going to love it. And sure enough, I do! The book is structured as a total from-the-ground-up guide to having a gorgeous balcony garden. While you might think that would encompass only container planting, she also shares numerous tips on design and décor, dealing with narrow spaces, vertical gardening, and issues unique to balcony gardeners like how to deal with rain pouring in sheets off the roof and onto your potted plants.

Even better, Fern's DIY style is made easy and fun with numerous tutorials and crafts throughout the book. I absolutely adored the chalkboard planter idea for taking ordinary, inexpensive pots and making them cute and functional. How many times have I gotten a call from a client just before dinnertime wondering whether the plant with big leaves was the oregano or the sage? Now, I can show horticulturally-challenged gardeners this tutorial and they can create their own (very chic) labeled pots for their edibles. What a great gift idea!

I felt this way with all of the tutorials in the book. Fern made everything look so elegant that I immediately wanted to rush out, get a few supplies, and make `em happen. She showed a small-space DIY birdbath which would be perfect nestled among a few potted plants. And the mod-minimalist bird feeder idea? I totally want to adapt this project and make it my own (I mean, purple would be mod-minimalist too, right? Right?).

I also loved that Fern made cohesive garden design easy with her small-space patio design plans. She created full container planting designs for a Verdant and Vertical Garden, Potager With a Twist (some great edible and cocktail garden ingredients!), Succulents and Scents, and more. It's not just the planting ideas, either; she mixes décor tips and layout ideas into her plans so you can see how all the elements fit together.

The book is beautifully-photographed and designed, and would make a great gift for the beginning or advanced container gardener. The text covers all that a beginner would need to know in clear language, while the designs and DIY projects offer enough interest to keep even pros like me coming back for more.
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