May 2016: Container Gardening

May 2016:

Container Gardening

“Gardening in containers is highly seductive, because the gardener is in control, more than is possible in any other kind of gardening.”
~from In a Green Shade : Writings from Homeground by Allen Lacy


Ah, to be truly in control of your garden -- what a delicious thought!  Container gardening introduces a multitude of options to the gardener's palette. Containers allow a gardener to manageably experiment with different plant combinations, create a landscape in a seemingly impossible setting, fill empty spaces and/or encourage the creation of focal points. Containers allow us to experiment with texture, shape, size and form. Many gardeners also find that container gardening offers accessibility solutions. In more urban settings as well as with shrinking yards, container gardens allow for creative horticultural adventures and opportunities to experiment. For me, one of the most important aspects of gardening is the opportunity to experiment and navigate uncharted horticultural and botanical waters. Container gardening might be just the opportunity for you to embark on new horticultural adventures!


“Plants have been grown in decorative and utilitarian containers for thousands of years. From early mosaics and writings, we know that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans grew aromatic plants, such as myrtle, box, and bay in clay pots. They were aware that it was a practical and efficient growing technique, especially in areas where the soil was poor or shallow.”
~from The Book of Container Gardening by Malcolm Hillier

Upcoming classes on container gardening at the Arboretum:


Library resources

Books about container gardening in the Sterling Morton Library
Succulent container gardens by Debra Lee Baldwin
The container garden  by Thomasina Tarling

Dazzled by container gardens at the Arboretum?

These maps and keys to the various creative container gardens at the Arboretum will inspire, intrigue and inform you!

Readers advisory:

If you are interested in container gardening,  dive into some of our Library collections on the subject. If you’ve already registered in the Library, be sure to check our eBook Collection for additional resources on container gardening. Not yet registered in the Sterling Morton Library, stop by soon!