Container Gardening Resources and Information

Greetings all from Zone 7 Maryland where the temperature zooms from 10 to 70 degrees in two days.
Several questions here..... I want/like/need start using shrubs in containers. Have quite a selection, some arborvitaie, 'Emerald', 'Beckman's Gold - a globe arborvitae', several 36" Leylands, a bunch of Encore Azaleas, some tree Roses, and some multi blossom Rose Bushes.
So far a lot of the container plants purchased from the store fail within the first year.... which suggests that there probably are a lot more factors in play....
Can anyone suggest some really good books and / or web resources dealing with container gardening, not only flowers and veggies but also shrubs ?? I'd like to get a 'bible' or single source for all the information, instead of having to research different books and deal with different, and occasionally conflicting advice.
Common sense could answer some of the questions, but I wonder if there are recommended ratios between plant type and container size. I know type of soil used is important and need to start measuring ph. But what about moisture measurements, soil temperature measurements. The probe type moisture meters are pretty useless and temperature will build up in a container plant, instead of being wicked away when plant in the ground.
Also this is a temperate climate, with wide temperature swings.... how to effectively winterize the pots... should I be pulling tubers and bulbs at the end of the season i.e. peonies and cannas or just store the entire pot.
So those are a few of the questions that a good book/resource should answer.
I do have several large pots and purchased a bunch of 5 gal buckets from Home Depot for $3.00 each... they will make nice planting containers and can either be painted or stuck instead a large decorative container. What I'd like to do is move the container plants around the landscape for decoration purpose and to get an idea of how they will look when planted in different configurations.
Your suggestions and recommendations are appreciated... What books and resources have you found invaluable for container gardening ??
Thanks in advance !!
Peter
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The larger the pot the more mistakes you can make. Smaller the more minor mistakes matter.
Bill
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA







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mike snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Albert E said once you say you know you stop thinking about it. I'd say it also freezes you in time as best practice seems to continue to evolve.
<http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/michael_pollan_gives_a_plant_s_eye_vi ew.html>
Bill
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA







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wrote:

Ahhhhh....thanks for this, Bill I Am. Again, you have given me a thing to think about and shift my track a bit. ;-)

Isn't this a nice presentation by Michael. Kinda makes you wonder what influences whom and why.... . Nice to put the Al E. thing together with the Michael P. thing and get a mind shift about things. New eyes. Needs some music, ja?
Try this on. :-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmX_GgozpQs

Charlie
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