Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Grow Plants in Pots by DK Publishing

Grow Plants in Pots offers tips and advice on how to grow a variety of plants in containers. It covers houseplants, outdoor plants as well as fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

  This is a very cool book. It's well-designed with lots of beautiful photographs and is filled with tons of tips and great advice to achieving your ideal garden in pots. I should state that I haven't actually tried any of this tips yet, so I can't vouch for their veracity. However, the book has provided me with tons of inspiration and lots of things to try once the weather warms up.

For each plants featured, the book provides some standard information: plant name, height and spread, exposure, temperature needs (but not the gardening zones I'm used to), suitable size and material for the container, and planting media. As for planting media, the book suggests a specific type and specific brand, John Innes, which I'm not familiar with. I googled it and it appears to be something available in the UK. I would have been nice if it was explained further in the book.

I love the look of containers in gardens, but have never managed to get "the look" I want. The design part of the book is going to help with that. It features a the variety of containers in different applications so that I can achieve my "look". I especially love the sleek modern containers. They probably wouldn't go with the style of my current house, but I'd love to have those someday.

The other problem I have with container gardening is that I tend to pick the wrong plant or care for it improperly so that halfway through the season, it's not looking it's best and I'm frustrated at my attempt. The reminder of the book addresses that issue. There's a section on foliage and flowers, fruits and vegetables as well as a planting guide for general care and disease/pest issues. Next year we plan on putting in a vegetable garden. Thanks to this book, I plan on putting a few of them in containers.

I also appreciated the houseplant information. Many of my houseplants have been inherited, so I know very little about them. This book was a great help in identifying them and giving me information on their care.

Unfortunately, the book doesn't cover winter care or overwintering tips for extreme winter temperatures (-30C). There are some that are applicable, but not that many. Most of the suggestions would probably work for climates a lot warmer than the Canadian prairies.

The table of contents has the 4 major sections listed as well as the major items (with page numbers) within each section. It also features an A-Z list of plants featured in the book. This last part is unique and awesome! As for the index, it's quite extensive and should help with finding items in the book.

You're probably thinking that it's a little weird to be reviewing a gardening book in the dead of winter. However, I think winter is the perfect time to plan next year's garden. I like to take my time and come up with different plans before choosing the best one. Also, I find that reading or perusing gardening books when I have the winter blues is a wonderful pick-me-up. It really gives me something to look forward to when it's freezing outside and my garden is under 3 feet of snow.

Highly recommended for those wanting to add containers to their indoor and outdoor spaces.  It would be most helpful for those in climates warmer than the Canadian prairies.    

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit DK's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at DK Canada for this review copy.

Grow Plants in Pots by DK Publishing, Dorling Kindersley, ©2011. ISBN 9780756682507(Soft cover), 256p.


  1. Not weird at all to review a garden book now. I was just looking at my houseplants this week and thinking of taking cuttings to use in my outdoor containers this summer. Last year I put together four shade barrels using house plants plus a few plants from the garden center.

    I've been growing half my outdoor garden (veggies and flowers) in containers for years. Lettuce and most herbs do wonderfully.

    1. Thanks Leslie. I never thought of putting houseplants (or cuttings of them) outside. That's a great idea. I'm really hoping to try a few veggies this year. Thanks for stopping by.


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