Bookshelf: Donna's Picks:

The Bountiful Container
Create container gardens of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and edible flowers
Grow edibles in containers.."the bible for small space gardeners who want to grow what they eat"

With clear and easy directions, you can grow vegetables, herbs and fruits in containers. It even includes recipes.

A must have in my library!

Book Review by Jim McLain

You will probably assume that a book with the title, The Bountiful Container, is about container gardening, and it is. And you probably assume that it is just another book about flower gardening using containers, but it isn’t.

In this 432-page paperback book (published in 2002), ‘bountiful’ refers to a bountiful harvest of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and edible flowers. Even the novice gardener will be able grow a beautiful and successful container garden brimming with fruits, vegetables, and edible flowers using this unique container gardening book as a guide.

The Bountiful Container can be an important addition to any gardener’s library. Although I do not grow fruits, vegetables, herbs or edible flowers in containers, I gained a lot of information that I can use in my own (overly-large) in-ground garden.

The authors, Rose Marie Nichols and Maggie Stuckey have done a magnificent job covering their subject in depth, yet keeping it reader-friendly. Nichols is a horticulturalist and president of Oregon’s highly regarded Nichols Garden Nursery, in addition to being a writer. Maggie Stuckey is the author of numerous other gardening books.

Michel A Hill’s black and white illustrations always compliment the text without getting in its way.

The first part of the book gives a lot of valuable information about planning, managing and making an edible container garden. Practical information about use of containers, trellises for vertical growing, and the necessary tools are included. Perhaps the key to success is found in the section telling how to keep the container garden healthy using only organic methods.

The greater part of The Bountiful Container is given over to how-to-grow plant profiles. The information is comprehensive, yet it’s always an entertaining read. And there’s more: Interspersed throughout the plant profiles are sidebars that give all kinds of related information not often found in other gardening books.

And there’s still more: A number of special ‘Theme Gardens’ for the container gardener to replicate (or modify). (How about a Romeo and Juliet container garden based on herbs mentioned in Shakespeare’s play of the same name, or one on Hanging Gardens of Babylon?)

Finally, one more bonus: Spaced throughout the plant profiles are also a number of mouth-watering recipes using the fruits, flowers, vegetables, and herbs included in the profiles. (Pasta with Summer Vegetables and Begonia Sorbet, just to mention a couple of mouth-watering recipes.)

Along with being highly interesting and instructive, another reason you will want to invest in your own copy of The Bountiful Container is the very attractive price: only $16.95 U.S. or $26.97 Canadian. Let’s see, that’s less than four U.S. pennies or seven Canadian cents a page!

Thriftiness aside, whether you are already a container gardener, or thinking about container gardening next year, this is a book you need if you plan to grow some of your own food in a practical, yet beautiful manner.


Author : Rose Marie Nichols McGee & Maggie Stuckey
ISBN : 0761116230
Publisher : Workman Publishing
Sugg. Retail Price : $26.95
Available in Softcover
Number of Pages : 432

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