Paper, 272 pp., $19.95
Townsend and Robbins present a new approach to containers in this book: continuous container gardens. Rather than the usual summer accents for your garden, they present plans for the “Four Season Container Garden.” Part 1 explains their ideas on this process, along with instructions on how to achieve a lovely contained garden. One charming comment is that “containers are your cardigans” (p. 33) in that they can be used in many ways. Part 2 presents twelve containers showing how the plantings change throughout the year as you swap in the plants of the season. Container 1 — Colorful Sticks — begins in spring with yellowtwig dogwood as the background, surrounded by herbs and spring flowers. This basic framework of the dogwood is then changed over the seasons. Each of the 12 containers follows this pattern with each section showing beautiful photographs by John Gruen of individual plants used as well as the completed container.
Not only does this book give you a new slant on sprucing up your garden, but it also provides innovative ideas on how to combine various plants for maximum effect. This is a delight to read even if you never plant a container.
— Joan Richards, volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden