Permaculture: A Designer's Manual is the definitive permaculture design manual, written by one of the original founders of permaculture, Bill Mollison.
If you can't take a PDC certification course for one reason or another, this book is a great option for you. Most of the concepts that are included in the standard PDC syllabus are covered in some level of detail here. Some PDC courses may require you to purchase a copy of Permaculture: A Designer's Manual as the standard course textbook.
Countless topics are covered in great detail, including design methods, natural patterns, climates, earthworks, energy, waste management, architecture, finance, and more.
Mollison lived and worked in Australia. However, he took care in this book to teach his concepts in a way that is relevant for people all over the world. Whether you live in North America, South America, or Africa – you will learn a great deal directly from the founder of the movement.
You'll find information that is relevant for designing on farms and homesteads in rural locations, as well as yards and homes in urban settings. While the book is almost 30 years old, the content is still as relevant as ever. The standard coursework for many PDC certification courses is still taken directly from the pages of this book.
Permaculture: A Designer's Manual deals with a huge spectrum of concepts and ideas, and it does do a good job of covering them well. But the staggering variety of topics means that some topics are not covered in fine detail. Beginners will benefit from supplementing the information here with other books that are focused on the specific topics they want to learn more about.
All things considered, Permaculture: A Designer's Manual is an excellent jumping off point for anyone who is interested in learning the basics of permaculture. And it's an excellent reference for experienced permaculturists and those who design for a living.