"The Container Gardeners's Bible: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing in All Kinds of Containers, Conditions, and Locations," is a solid, comprehensive guide to getting started with container gardening. It covers all the bases and does so in a straight-forward and organized manner. There is lots of great information on design and a refreshing section on using modern containers to great effect.
While I found most of the information accurate and accessible, they do recommend putting gravel in the bottom of your pots to aid in drainage. Studies have shown this technique is counter productive and should be avoided. Despite this small glitch, this is a book that is well worth buying, especially for beginners.
For more info on why you shouldn't put gravel in containers.
Container gardening is all about the plants isn't it? The Encyclopedia of Container Plants: More than 500 Outstanding Choices for Gardeners by Ray Rogers with photography by Rob Cardillo, thinks so. This book is a joyous and beautiful look at container plants and shows how to use them.
You have got to love an encyclopedia with an attitude and one that is so well-written, with juicy prose and humorous descriptions. You have got to love it even more when the photographs are as engaging as the writing. The combination in this book make it a slam-dunk as a resource for the beginner to expert container gardener. This is a book that you can go back to again and again--each time coming away with more knowledge and delight in the acquisition of it.
In my climate, terrariums are the perfect hobby during the winter for container gardeners. They let you play with plants and get your hands dirty. They also have the huge benefit of being easy to care for. Even those of us with a history of houseplant serial killing, terrariums can allow us to grow things inside.
For anyone interested their hand at terrariums, this book is a must have. It is beautiful, well written and full of information and glorious inspiration--turning terrariums into an artform. These are not they fusty old terrariums of yesterday, these are modern, sometimes whimsical glass frames for the display of beautiful plants.
There are great instructions for how to make the terrariums and even more importantly information on how to keep alive.
Container Gardening: 250 Design Ideas & Step-by-Step Techniques, by the Editors of Fine Gardening, is a great all around container gardening book for information. The photographs are a treasure trove of ideas for interesting plant combinations and container garden design inspiration.
This is a terrific reference book for both beginners and experts alike.
8. General Gardening Books
I use several general gardening books as resources for container gardening. I go back to these books again and again for information, mostly on vegetable container gardening.The Garden Primer, by Barbara Damrosch -- This all-around gardening book is a must have for people getting started with vegetable gardening and those who want an easy to read, well organized resource for information. This book is great on how to grow specific vegetables and for trouble shooting when problems arise. Canadian Vegetable Gardening, by Douglas Green -- This is a particularly useful book for those of us who live and do container vegetable gardening in colder climes. Doug Green's knowledge about gardening is encyclopedic and he has a gift for conveying information in accessible and engaging ways. This book is great for beginners, but is also a wonderful reference source for anyone.