Western Mountains and High Plains
Container Gardening for Dummies, by Bill Marken and the Editors of National Gardening Association (IDG Books, 1998, $16.99), is a good resource if you're just getting started with growing plants in containers. It will help you choose everything from flowers, vegetables, ferns, fillers, succulents, and exotic plants. This is a guide to creating interesting plant combinations, including tips for growing them successfully.
Favorite or New Plant
Bluestem Joint Fir
Bluestem joint fir (Ephedra equisetina) is a small shrub (4 to 5 feet) that's one of my favorites for all-season interest in the landscape. The bluish green stems produce a froth of yellow blossoms that are often followed by berries. The plant is extremely tolerant of drought and heat, growing best in full sun and well-drained soils.