The Complete Guide to Container Gardening

The Complete Guide to Container Gardening

Better Homes and Gardens

I have six raised beds in my backyard for vegetables, a raised terrace along one side of the yard for berries and a few perennial vegetables, and a border bed lining two other fence lines. Most people would find that plenty of space for a home garden, but it sure isn't for us. More garden beds aren't the answer, since we still need a bit of grass for the dog and the boys to run around it.

I used to garden in containers back when we rented. I still use containers for a few of my tender plants that require overwintering indoors, like my pretty ginger that gives us tasty roots for ginger ale and stir-fries. We also have six hanging baskets adorning our patio columns that spill over with strawberries in the summer, at least until I figure out where we can stick a strawberry patch!


Perusing “The Complete Guide to Container Gardening” (2009) is giving me a few new ideas. The pictures are gorgeous, just like you would expect from a Better Homes and Gardens publication. Over 500 inspiration pictures are inside, to be exact.


Unfortunately, there isn't much substance to the book. The images did give me some ideas on how to fit even more plants into my crowded garden, but it was a far cry from a “complete” book about anything. It features plans, which they call recipes, consisting of different kinds of plants crammed into pots. If you want to follow their planting plans to a tee you likely won't go wrong, but it doesn't educate in my opinion. A complete book is likely to be grabbed by beginners. Novice gardeners should be rewarded with a in depth book about both the plants and culture necessary for a container garden.