Container Gardening for All Seasons, I'm taking the garden to the great indoors with 50 container garden recipes using houseplants both common and exotic. In the coming months my apartment is going to be filled to the gills with hundreds of plants and you get to come along for the ride. We're going to have a lot of fun!
If you've ever received a dish garden only to find that the plants keep falling like dominoes under your care, this book is for you. I groan almost every time I see a dish garden or a planted gift basket because with few exceptions I find a succulent growing right next to a thirsty peace lily... or some other doomed combination. Besides, those dish gardens don't even come with instructions!
It's not that houseplants weren't meant to live together in harmony; It's just that they have to have the same growing requirements if they're to thrive in the long run. That's where my book comes in. Each container garden recipe comes with specific instructions on how to plant it, where to put it and how to take care of it - from pruning to re-potting and from fertilizing to pest control. You'll find lots of inspiring photos of fashionably designed indoor gardens as well as a slough of tips and techniques for combining houseplants on your own just as confidently as you would combine perennials in the border.
Why else should you bother combining houseplants? Well for starters, after you've picked the right plants it makes things a whole lot easier. Instead of finding room for five individual containers and watering them all individually, you would only have to water one. A group of plants also keeps it's own micro-climate with the higher humidity that most houseplants love. Oh, and did I mention that it just looks better? Unlike a collection of pots, a well designed mixture of plants gives your home all the charm of a real garden. Okay, so there IS something to be said for a collection of pots, but if it were up to me those pots would be bigger and combine more plants.
To kick things off, I've done a warm-up container using Rattlesnake Calathea, 'Neon' Pothos and an Episcia hybrid. This little garden does best with bright indirect light (bright shade) and evenly moist soil. The Episcia trailing over the edge also likes a little humidity, which can be provided by sitting it on top of a tray of pebbles. If you can't provide enough humidity, you're in luck! Each container recipe includes a plan B and a list of alternate plants to suit your needs.
Now that I've gotten all of that out of my system, it only seems appropriate that I should ask: What houseplants would YOU like to see combined? While we're at it, what houseplants are your favorites and why?