FCE exam Reading Part 5 B

Part 5

You are going to read an extract from a website. For questions 31-36 choose the best answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text.

Container Gardening 

An eye-catching container almost invariably brings admiration from passers-by and immense satisfaction to the grower. Sadly, really stunning window-boxes, baskets and tubs are the exception- more often they are mediocre or down-right poor. The reason is not difficult to find. Plants in containers of all kinds need a great deal more attention than plants in the rest of the garden. They have all the odds stacked against them: a severely limited root-run, usually gross overcrowding by comparison with normal spacing, and a volume of soil that is likely to dry out in a depressingly short time in hot weather. Yet despite all these handicaps, the results can be stunning. Of course, for some people with only a tiny garden (or none at all) container gardening is the only form of outdoor gardening possible.

Container gardening is not about using containers for the sake of it. Most plants do much better in the ground, and if you can plant directly in the ground instead of using the container do so. The plant will have a less restricted root-run, a better reservoir of nutrients, and of course you will have a lot less watering to worry about.

Containers can, however, bring colour and interest to parts of the garden that would otherwise be without plants, and they sometimes form an integral part of the garden design, serving as a focal point, the most central part of a garden . Hanging baskets and window- boxes bring colour and interest to otherwise plantless space, and containers of other kinds are at their best enlivening otherwise potentially dull spots, such as areas of paving. Many containers are, of course, attractive in their own right, even without plants. The more attractive kinds can be used as a focal point.

Ornaments, especially containers, have played an important role in garden landscaping for over 400 years. Nowadays, with so many types of container in so many materials, from terracotta to plastic, glass-fibre to reconstituted stone, some of them expensive but most quite cheap, it is easy to be tempted into buying the containers first and worrying about where to put them afterwards. Yet buying the right container needs thought: it should complement and blend with surroundings. This applies not only to urns and ornate centrepieces but also to window-boxes and containers for porches: they will be very conspicuous, and it is not easy to hide a mistake in taste.

In a tiny modern garden, a classical urn on a tall pedestal is not going to look right with the rotary clothes drier and a collection of children’s toys. The larger the garden, the more options you have, and more scope for fairly ornate pieces that can form a focal point without looking pretentious. In a large garden containers can actually play much the same role as statuary. A suitable urn can provide a focal point that forms an integral part of the design; for someone with little more than a balcony, container gardening may be the only form of gardening possible. For most gardens, however, containers are a way of punctuating the design.

Last but not least aspect of container growing is that you can extend the harvest or bloom season by moving pots indoors when the weather grows cold. During this time move them indoors,so that the containers are exposed to maximum sunlight during the day. Eventually, winter’s shorter days will take their toll and your plants will get a far from pleasant looking. You may want to finally get rid of them, but with the right exposure, you can keep plants growing indoors for months after their usual outdoor life.

31. Why is it difficult to find a great looking container?

      1. As a rule container gardening is of only average quality.

      2. Gardening in a tiny space is equally challenging as gardening in an open piece of land.

      3. Many people don’t really know how to use tiny space to accommodate plants.

      4. Numerous factors negatively affect the possibility of growing beautiful plants.

32.  What’s the writer’s recommendation about container gardening?

    1. This type of gardening is ideal for somebody who doesn’t have a lot of space.

    2. If you have the possibility you should consider ‘normal gardening’ as it’s got more benefits. 

    3. It requires more attention from the gardener, for example providing nutrients, water, etc.

    4. Container gardening is not about restricting yourself by using the container but planting directly in the ground.

33.  When should a container not be used as the focal point?

    1. In areas that are plant-less.

    2. In areas where containers enliven the grey space.

    3. In areas that are already full of colour and interest.

    4. In parts of a garden where containers look attractive.

34. What do we have to bare in mind when purchasing the ideal container.

    1. Containers are made of many types and materials

    2. We should choose a container that balances and contributes to the overall appearance of the space.

    3. Choosing a containers is not as important as the plants we grow.

    4. Buying the right container or window-box might be a mistake if these are not chosen correctly.

35.  In paragraph 5 we learn that the main purpose of window-boxes, urns and other containers is to:

      1. emphasize the layout of the garden

      2. highlight the focal point of the space

      3. accommodate plants in a small space

      4. furnish a garden with a statue 

36.  Why does the author suggest placing containers inside a building?

    1. Plants could freeze because of the cold weather.

    2. When kept outside plants will not look good after some time.

    3. Your plants will blossom if they are kept indoors.

    4. Providing enough light of the sun inside may prolong plants’ growth.