on November 27, 2003
The sub-title clearly explains the focus of this book. The writer, a Master Gardener and well-known Canadian garden writer, takes a very practical and down-to-earth (sorry about the pun) approach to the topic.
This is a book written for the gardener who has to tote all her growing mix up either stairs or an elevator. The writer assumes that the reader might not know very much about gardening or might not know the best ways to adapt large-garden gardening to a very tiny and possibly wind-swept area. She does not waste words on anything that doesn't have practical application to growing plants on a balcony, rooftop or deck. There are lots of "do's and don'ts" lists that pack a lot of useful information into a very small space. This includes do's and don'ts for watering balcony plants and this is followed by ideas for ways to cut down on watering. If you've ever had to tote pails of water from the kitchen, through the dining room and living room to get to the balcony you'll appreciate these.
The strength of this book is that it addresses just about every question that a balcony gardener might think to ask; it is truly comprehensive in its approach. The writing is clear and concise and there are lots of little "hot tip" side bars contributed by experienced balcony gardeners. It even has suggestions for challenges such as damp courtyards, rooftops exposed to sun and wind and balconies so truly tiny that they look like concrete bunkers. Gardeners with these problems need flowers and foliage more than anyone, and this is one of very few books to offer useful suggestions for them.