Creative Design for Container Gardening; a book review.
May 11, 2011
Allan in Book Reviews, Container Gardening, Container gardening, annual flowers, flower pots

Gardening With Color Rob Sproule,  Lone Pine Publishing,

We were introduced to Rob Sproule last year when he published a delightful manual titled New Annuals for Canada. In it, the author wrote about the effective use of annual flowers for colder climates, where short growing seasons are prevalent. In this, his second endeavor, he focuses on the use of annuals for designing and planting containers under the same climate conditions.

The newer book contains 60 design ideas for container gardens. Here are solutions for those that lack the confidence to design their own or for those who feel that their innate creativity still remains untapped. Each of the suggestions is accompanied by a planting diagram, a list of suitable flowers and foliage, and care instructions. The reader is encouraged to consider them as inspiration, to be adapted to ones personal taste and needs. The plans also include guidelines for the size of a container, the recommended amount of sun, water and nutrition, the projected aggressiveness of the component plants and a caution about the restrictions of climate. In addition, the author surveys materials required as well as soil and potting mixes.

Mr.Sproule deals with pertinent topics such as foliage, hanging baskets, the classical style of planting flower pots, and the creative use of color. In the final two chapters, the reader is introduced to modern and contemporary influences in container design and is given suggestion on how to create imaginatively by thinking outside the box.

In a short, magnificent, gem of a chapter dedicated to the elements and principles of design, the author has concisely summarized everything we need to know about this subject. Many books have been published about design in general, and garden design in particular, but none have been able to summarize the science of design as clearly as Mr. Sproule has done. Read the book for this chapter alone; the balance is a useful and informative bonus.

Article originally appeared on Garden Design, Montreal, Perennial Flower Gardens, Gardening Tips, Gardening Advice, Gardening Book Reviews (
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