Monday, February 20, 2012

Garden Book Review: Crops & Pots

I recently read Crops in Pots by Bob Purnell.  As you know, I do most of my gardening in containers and I've never really felt like my garden is visually interesting. I've been trying to think of ways to be more creative this year. I mainly grow vegetables for food, but this book showed me ways to make growing flowers, herbs, and veggies in pots more interesting.

The book is organized in a very cute way--by "Starters," "Main Courses," and "Desserts," with the idea being that you can combine things into a single pot that can then turn into a dish. This is a crabapple/gooseberry combo, which intersted me because I just ordered a packet of ground cherry seeds.

Each page also contains a recipe. This one is for Strawberry Lemonade. You can grow strawberries, mint, and edible flowers in a single container, and then the book shows you how you can take those ingredients and make them into a dish.

I didn't realize you can grow grapes in containers? Apparently you can.

The book isn't just about vegetable and herb combos. There are a few sections on combining flowers in pots for variety in color and height. There's also a list of edible flowers, which is something I'm interested in learning more about. I now have some ideas for what I want to do with  my few flower pots this year.

I've been thinking of growing a tea garden, and seeing the pages on herb combinations has made me want to go out and buy some chamomile and mint right now. I don't need a lot of space--I can grow a couple of herbs together, and here's another convenient recipe and instructions for making a relaxing chamomile tea with herbs found in one single pot.
I like the book. There are some combinations that are pretty common, in the sense that everyone knows tomatoes and basil go nicely together when companion planting. But I got some very good ideas about how to combine flowers and vegetables for visual interest, and not just for a functional kitchen garden.

If you're looking for other interesting gardening reading, head over to Roses and Other Garden Joys and check out other bloggers' book reviews.


  1. Sounds like a great book and something I might be interested in given my penchant for experimenting.

  2. Sounds fascinating. I love combining herbs, flowers and food plants in containers...although I can always use some fresher ideas.

  3. What a fabulous book! I'll have to pass this on to my daughter who wants to grow some veggies in pots. Can't wait to see how you utilize the info you read!

  4. This seems like such a great book! I've been trying to convince my daughter to grow some vegetables in pots, and have been thinking of doing a little of that myself. This book sounds like something we both need! I like that he shows combinations in pots - I think it would make the pot much more interesting and beautiful, and that he also talks about edible flowers. Thanks so much for joining in!

  5. What a delightful book! I have to give a short talk on small space gardening at our local plant give & take take in a few weeks and that would be a great resource!
    Thanks for sharing it!

  6. I did not know you could grow grapes in containers either. Books are always teaching me something. I like the idea of having all of those recipes as well.

  7. It looks like the book is visually appealing as well as very informative. I want some of that strawberry lemonade!

  8. My first job was as a coffee barista. We used to serve chamomile and peppermint iced tea. It would be fun to grow your own.

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