Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dreaming of gardening

We're in the depths of winter and we all woke this morning to a dusting of snow on the ground, but it is actually the perfect time to begin thinking about your garden. If you don't have your garden plans in place by that first sunny week in May, then you will lose precious growing time trying to figure things out. We have two new books that will help kick-start some ideas.
Container Gardening: through the seasons, by Jim Keeling, is a great resource for anyone trying to have a garden on their porch, deck, parking platform, dock, or boggy yard. This is not your typical container garden book. Author Keeling founded Whichford Pottery in England about 30 years ago, so half of this book is about the design, creation and care of pots for your garden. No Wal-Mart plastic pots or boring terra-cotta pots here! The photos are beautiful, and follow the cluttered English cottage garden aesthetic. He has lots of good suggestions for how to pick containers, what to put in them, how to arrange them, how to winter them, and how to use them to create a lovely space year-round.
Fallscaping: extending your garden season into autumn, by Nancy Ondra and Stephanie Cohen is another book that has an unusual perspective on gardening. Fall in Ketchikan usually means sodden, rotting plants. But why not scatter some plants throughout your garden that will actually look good in fall and distract the eye from the pathetic petunias and straggly nasturtiums? Move past the ubiquitous decorative cabbage and install some unique characters into your design scheme. This book is also packed with maintenance, winterizing and design tips.

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