Saturday, 21 April 2012
This week I'm reviewing The Balcony Gardener by Isabelle Palmer, from illustrated lifestyle publishers Ryland Peters & Small and CICO Books. Isabelle Palmer has created a successful business from her ability to enliven any balcony, roof terrace or window sill with her inventive gardening ideas and is the founder of The Balcony Gardener, an innovative online boutique that I featured here on 'shops i love'. I chose to review this book as I love her gardening boutique.
The Balcony Gardener is a book about being creative with the outdoor space you have, be that a window sill, balcony or roof terrace. However confined, Isabelle shows you how to make the most of what you have in the open air of the country or the hub of a city.
The book is split into five main chapters, starting with "The Basics". In this chapter Isabelle outlines the basic techniques you need to start balcony gardening, starting with the essential kit you need, and moving on to choosing and preparing pots and planting containers for your outdoor space. There are also guides and tips on choosing colours, plus seasonal and aftercare of your plants.
The second chapter "Urban Spaces" is a well presented selection of Isabelle's interesting themes and decorative ideas you can draw on to create your own outdoor escape to sit back and relax in. One of the included ideas is the Country Garden, inspired by lush meadows and wild flowers, a pretty butterfly, bee window box and a rippling splashing water garden.
The third chapter "Creative Recycling" is, as the title suggests, about getting creative with a variety of different recycled containers from old cans to metal crates. Isabelle shows you how to plant and create a salad box in a vintage wooden crate, how to turn a birdcage into a planter, and an old pallet into a wall planter.
The fourth chapter "All Things Edible" is about growing your own vegetables, fruits and herbs in a well thought out way. So for those that like delicious fruity drinks in the summer there is the stylish cocktail window box full of mint and strawberries. For the foodie there is the herb window box for fish, planted with curly-leaf parsley, lemon thyme and dill. Each window box idea also includes a helpful recipe.
The last chapter "Enjoying Your Balcony" is about doing exactly that! After mastering your outdoor planting it's time to add fun finishing touches like mood lighting and accessories, choose your garden furniture and make hanging votive candles. All of which Isabelle explains how to do.
The Balcony Gardener by Isabelle Palmer is a great hardback book full of great tips, ideas and inspiration to get you gardening. At a recommended price of £14.99, I think this hardback book is a good buy as it is has so many great tips for the first-time gardener and lots of inspiration for those who already have green fingers.
Some of my favourite shots:
Please note that my opinions are my own and I am not paid for these reviews (apart from receiving a free book, of course!).
Have a sweet day!