Container Gardening: Creative Combinations for Real Gardeners
This time of year, it's nice to curl up with an inspiring book and dream of spring. Container Gardening: Creative Combinations for Real Gardeners, by Paul Williams (DK Publishing, 2004; $25) is a perfect choice. The book includes background information on container gardening in general, as well as plant profiles of common (and not-so-common) plants that are good for containers.
But the best part is the section on "container portraits," which includes stunning photos of creative container gardens in full bloom, along with detailed planting instructions. Many of the portraits are themed gardens centering around a specific color, habitat, or feel. Which are you more attracted to, "Quiet Sophistication" or "Exotic Explosion?" Get this book, make a cup of cocoa, and find out.
Clever Gardening Technique
Arranging Dried Flowers
Arranging dried flowers in a vase can be a challenge. If you don't have enough material to fill the neck of the vase, the bouquet will flop open. And without water, a dried arrangement in a lightweight vase can become top-heavy and tip over. Birdseed to the rescue! A friend passed along this hint: Fill the container with birdseed, then push the stems down into it. I used an inexpensive seed mix and it worked beautifully. Now I'll just have to keep a close eye out for any mice that might find their way into the house seeking warmth and, now, a ready food supply.