Container gardening tips available in library’s stacks

  • Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2013 12:01 a.m.

SALISBURY — Imagine stepping out onto your patio and finding all you need to make a fresh green salad for your dinner: tender mesclun, luscious grape tomatoes, crisp sweet carrots, a little fresh dill and some peppery nasturtium blossoms for a bright garnish.

All of these plants can be grown successfully in containers, so even apartment dwellers can enjoy growing their own produce. Even if you have plenty of space, you may not have enough time to take care of a large garden, or perhaps you find the hard clay in your yard too difficult to work. Container gardening can be the perfect solution for the frustrated gardener.

A great place to start your gardening venture is at Rowan Public Library, where you can find books to instruct and inspire you. A personal favorite is “The Bountiful Container” by Rose Marie Nichols McGee and Maggie Stuckey.

This practical guide will help you create container gardens of vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible flowers. Care is given to ensure that these gardens are attractive as well as productive. With a down-to-earth style and plenty of practical advice, the authors will take you from seed to harvest in no time.

You may want to try one of the creative “Theme Gardens,” such as “The Lemonade Party” which includes Meyer lemons, lemon verbena and Mabel Gray scented geranium with its lemon-scented leaves. The authors also include recipes, including “Rose Geranium Tea Cake,” “Herbed Baked Apples” and “Mardi Gras Salad.”

Perhaps you aren’t interested in growing produce; you just want some pretty blooms to brighten up your patio or deck. One large container planted with a variety of ornamentals can really make a statement, and it gives you the opportunity to be creative and design your own miniature landscape.

For design ideas that will look like those expensive containers you see at the garden centers, check out “P. Allen Smith’s Container Gardens.” He offers design ideas for each season; using annuals, perennials, bulbs, vines, ornamental grasses and even shrubs. Beautiful full-page photographs highlight the color schemes and textures of his designs.

The accompanying detailed instructions, plant lists and diagrams allow you to replicate these ideas at home, and will inspire you to create custom containers tailored to your home and personal preferences.

If you’re tired of the standard geraniums and petunias, and want to grow something really unusual in your containers, take some time to peruse “Logee’s Greenhouses Spectacular Container Plants: How to Grow Dramatic Flowers for Your Patio, Sunroom, Windowsill, and Outdoor Spaces.”

Written by Byron and Laurelyn Martin, third-generation owners of the renowned Logee’s Greenhouses, this beautiful book will introduce you to such exotic tropicals as Cantua, the “Sacred Flower of the Incas,” with its flaring red flowers; Dalechampia, also known as Winged Beauty; and Punica, the Dwarf Pomegranate. The authors take the mystery out of caring for these unusual plants, and, guided by their expertise, you can successfully grow beautiful, healthy plants.

Look for these books and more container gardening resources at Rowan Public Library.

Children’s Storytime: Weekly through April 26. For more information, call 704-216-8234.

Headquarters — Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18- to 35-month-olds); Wednesday, 11 a.m., Baby Time (6- to 23-month-olds); Thursday, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds); Thursday, 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4- to 8-years-olds.)

South — Monday, 4 p.m., Noodlehead; Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., Baby Time; 1:30 p.m., Preschool Time; Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time.

East — Monday, 10 a.m., Baby Time; Monday, 11 a.m., Toddler Time; Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time.

Children’s art in the afternoon: Headquarters, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m., grades kindergarten-five. Join Miss Jennifer to learn basic art techniques such as printing, sculpting and painting using various art mediums. Call 704-216-8234 for more information.

Get Money Smart at the Library: Headquarters. April 20-27 is Money Smart Week at libraries all over the country. Our library is planning the following events to help you save money. For more information call 704-216-8229.

• April 22 — 6:30 p.m., Grow Green, Save Green; learn how to garden smarter.

• April 23 — 2 p.m., Building Wealth Seminar; learn how to set money goals and understand credit scores and reports.

Teen poetry slam: Headquarters, Tuesday, 5:30-7 p.m. N.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti will be the special master of ceremonies for the evening. Each teen will be able to perform three original poems in three rounds. Winners will receive cash prizes; registration is required. For a list of rules and to register, visit or call 704-216-8234.

PAC Club: Headquarters, April 27, 1 p.m. Do you like mysteries? If so come to the library to discuss “A to Z Mysteries” and enjoy related activities and craft. Call 704-216-8234 for more information.

Book Bites Club: South (only), April 30, 6:30 p.m., “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls. Book discussion groups for adults and children meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information, please call 704-216-8229.

Displays for April: headquarters, Doll Society; South, student art from Carson High; East, gems and artifacts by Sonia Neville.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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