Flowerpots ハードカバー – 2004/4/15
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The design of the flowerpot and the style of the garden are as important as the plants you put in them. Here, by weaving together the pot-making process with planting design, Jim Keeling demonstrates how you can bring container gardening alive. Divided into the seasons of the year, Jim Keeling describes the planting and plant are stages. In Autumn he discusses how to plan ahead for the next year, choosing bulbs, making cuttings and propagating plants. In Winter Jim looks at hardy plants that will keep your pots full of interest during the cold months, while Spring examines planting seeds and bulbs, growing and forcing plants, greenhouse maintenance and how to deal with pests and diseases. Finally the glory of Summer is explored, from bedding out your plants to growing vegetables. Each chapter begins with illuminating information on the design and production of flowerpots, from the history of pot making to the seasonal routine at Whichford. Jim looks at the art of throwing, moulding and decorating pots, the origins and background of classic shapes such as the long tom and lemon pot, glazing and glazeware as well as his experiments for the future and the pursuit of the ever-larger pot. Jim also shares his design expertise in multi-species plantings and pot displays, honed both in his own gardens and his award-winning Chelsea shows. For gardeners and potters alike, this is a unique approach to the art of container gardening.
Jim Keeling, founder of Whichford Pottery, is a highly skilled potter and designer. In addition, he also designs and tends the superb gardens at Whichford, which are open to the public once a year under the National Gardens Scheme. This is Jim's second book - his first book, The Terracotta Gardener, sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. Whichford Pottery is an internationally renowned producer of hand-made terracotta pots. Buyers of their award-winning designs include The National Trust, Prince Charles at his gardens at Highgrove and Alan Titchmarsh. The Pottery is located at Whichford, Warwickshire on the edge of the Cotswolds.
The subtitle calls this a guide, but I didn't find it significantly useful for improving my flowerpots or learning anything significant about container gardening. There are useful tidbits scattered throughout, but it is only a cursory overview of the details of both.
It was a very fun read, considering that I *am* a potter and a look into a large, professional pottery specializing in one kind of ware, where they *use* that ware themselves as a critical part of the business, was very interesting. The book held my attention, and Mr Keeling is a great writer. He has a conversational tone, and throughout the book, he's telling the *story* of a year at the pottery. It is rarely dry, and by the end, I want to live in Oxfordshire and work at Whichford Pottery under Keeling's tutelage.
There are lots of great, inspirational photographs of pots and flowers. I do keep coming back to it just to look at the pots for ideas. As an amateur photographer, I must tip my hat to the photographer, Andrew Lawson. His contribution to the book was as valuable to me as the author's.
Keeling and Lawson have put together a very wonderful book, but it is not the book I was expecting based on the subtitle.
If you're a potter or gardener wanting to learn the *how* of flowerpots or container gardening of ornamentals, this book offers much inspiration but little knowledge.
If you'd like to know more about the process, if you just want to follow a potter/gardener through a year's cycle, culminating in a prestigious flower show in Britain, this book is a great read.