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Container Gardening Vol 4 Ahs Illustrated Encyc.

Reviewing: American Horticultural Society / Ortho Container Gardening  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Yard & Garden Expertise:
Image for Container Gardening- Vol 4 AHS Illustrated Encyc.

This is the fourth (alphabetically) of a 20 volume set. I give the set as a whole very high marks, and this particular volume is a solid addition to the set. There are lots of articles in gardening magazines about container plantings, but this is a nice collection of general information

This volume, Container Gardening, begins with a look at the versatility of containers. This includes topics like “instant garden, ” “mobility, ” and “special interests.”

Topics covered in the book are

Container Basics

Helps you choose containers, types of soil, fertilizers, drainage, etc.

Hanging Baskets

How to line, plant and care for these, and a list (with info) of plants that work well

Annuals, Perennials, Vines

Mostly pictures and an extensive table of appropriate plants

Shrubs and Trees in Containers

Pictures and a list (with info) of plants that work well

Bulbs in Containers

How to plant bulbs in containers, how to force bulbs, and a list of good bulbs to use.

Fruit in Containers

Climate considerations, appropriate choices and care

Vegetables in Containers

Container sizes and capacities with specific info for many vegetables.

Succulents in Containers

Some pictures and a list of good plants. The volume devoted to Cacti and Succulents has much more information.


Bonsai vs Pseudo-Bonsai, and how to get started... only the very basics.

Containers to Make

There are plans for 19 different kinds of containers, from wall boxes, to decorative planters

I didn’t give it a full 5 points only because there is a ton of information on this topic everywhere. I do like the plans for building a variety of containers all collected in one place.

This set of books was published in 1981 by Ortho for the American Horticultural Society. I signed up on one of those “get one book every 6 weeks and stop when you want” deals. I was determined to come up with the money to get the entire set, and managed to do just that. At the time each volume cost about $15. I now find that they are considered rare and the volumes I am able to locate on line are selling more in the $30 range. The books are richly illustrated with color photographs which do a good job of expanding the text.

Each book is 8.5 x 11.25 inches, hardcover, and 144 pages including the index. The bindings could be higher quality; they are tending to crack.

If you pick up the softcover Ortho books from the racks at your local garden center, you will find some of the same pictures, and some overlap of information, but this encyclopedia goes into more detail and covers many more topics than the Ortho series.