By Editors & Contributors of Fine Gardening, The Taunton Press, $19.95, 208 pages

10“Containers are the great garden equalizer. No matter where you live, how big your space, or how small your budget, you can do it. Of course, attempting to grow plants in the artificial environment of a pot presents challenges. These challenges are not new, and other container gardeners out there have struggled with them too – and succeeded. And if gardeners like to do any thing (other than complain about the deer or the weather), it is to share a success story.”

The editors and contributors of Fine Gardening magazine have assembled over 300 examples of the best of the best in Tips for Container Gardening: 300 Great Ideas for Growing Flowers, Vegetables, and Herbs. For the gardening-challenged, this book offers brilliant examples. Container gardening offers diversity in gardening, becoming one of the favorite ways to showcase a green thumb. Anyone can put together a pot of plants, and that grouping should grow anywhere.

Divided into three sections, the book discusses design ideas, pots and planters, and planting and maintenance tips. By using photographs as examples, the accompanying text describes the potted combo. Most use the rule of three and feature a thriller or centerpiece, fillers or billowing mounding plants, and a spiller that tumbles out of the pot, adding a softer edge.

What sets this book apart from other gardening how-tos? The book’s design makes this easy-to-read guide visually attractive. Concise tips, each headlined for accuracy, give enough data without pushing readers toward information overload. And, the photographs make me think outside the window box and contemplate what designs will work best in my house and outside areas.

Tips for Container Gardening makes a great gift for anyone interested in gardening, inspiring creative designs that add pizzazz to a space.

Reviewed by LuAnn Schindler