This Week's Podcast: Thinking Outside the Pot
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Our guest this week is the popular blogger, Fern Richardson. She masterminds the award-winning “Life on the Balcony.” In her new book, Small-Space Container Gardens, Fern walks us through the process of beautifying a small space–even when you have a similarly small budget. Her approach is totally DYI. She tells how to paint pots; create inexpensive lighting effects; even grow food in pots on decks, porches and balconies. Her guide is divided into categories and dozens of specific garden ideas and even plans with recommended plants.
Fern lives on the West Coast, and a lot of the book shows examples with tender plants. In most cases, people in cold climates can grow those plants for the growing season, but it is unlikely that small space gardeners will have a spot inside to carry over tropicals through the winter. So most people may have to treat their plants as annuals and replace some of them each spring.
There are plant lists for gardens featuring succulents, or fragrant plants, culinary herbs, edible vines to grow up in small spaces, bird or pollinator-attracting recommendations. There are suggestions for increasing privacy – even with living screens.
Her practical tips are helpful for all gardeners, for example suggestions for watering – (more water for blueberries, much less for succulents). You can’t just spray the whole place. Other directions deal with subjects like repelling unwelcome insects, creating color schemes, dealing with wind and plant hardiness. All of this is mixed with tons of decorating ideas. Fern’s paint choice comes from Earth Safe Finishes, and she recommends visiting the blog 66squarefeet.