Monday, February 11, 2013

Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You, by Amanda Thomsen. Storey Publishing 2102

This guide to basic gardening has two things that set it aside from most gardening books: it’s put together like a webpage, full of graphics and references to other pages, and it’s funny. Author Thomsen has a blog of the same name as the book on the Fine Gardening website, so I was happy to find she had a book out.

This is a book for the beginning gardener, especially for one with a new yard to deal with. Thomsen walks you through the process: the idea stage, mapping the existing space, deciding what you can realistically grow, hardscaping, planting. Every section points out that you don’t have to do it all alone; you can always ‘hire a guy’ for what you feel uncomfortable with, whether it’s design, digging, or maintenance. My favorite section is the planning one; the author encourages you to put down *everything* you’d like, no matter how wild and crazy. After all, if it turns out to be impossible, it’s only on paper, and who knows? You might be able to do it! And above all, make the garden for YOU, not for the garden magazines, the designers, or the neighbors. It’s your space, make it to give you pleasure and reflect your personality. This book won’t tell you how to prune roses or divide peonies, but it’s a good start.


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