When I was a young gardener (in my late 20s/early 30s; I got a late start), I had no idea what I was doing. Married and a stay-at-home mom with two little boys and a tight budget, I began to garden. I started a vegetable garden and even tried some flowers. We lived on a half acre and had plenty of room, and thought to myself, “This will be easy and fun; people have been gardening since forever.”
Well, it was fun, but it was more difficult than it needed to be, because I didn’t have anyone to teach me. I did enlist marginal help from our elderly neighbor, but even he was bemused by some of my efforts. “Jenny,” he drawled one day, leaning over the fence, “What are you growing there, loofahs?” I had no idea what he was talking about, but saw that he was pointing at my beautiful okra. “Look at them!” I exclaimed. “Have you ever seen any okra bigger than mine? I must be doing something right; they’re a foot long!”
If I’d have known Dee Nash then, or had her book to read, I would have had much earlier success — so I am more than delighted to recommend her book The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff (St. Lynn’s Press). Dee’s book is a wonderful guide for anyone just getting into gardening both edibles and ornamentals — and a great source of tips even for seasoned pros. This is what I like about gardening: you never get to a place where you know everything; there is always something more to learn.
Aside from Dee’s best-friend, encouraging style of writing (I just love that; it’s like having morning coffee with her), there are so many goodies to take away from this book. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you everything, but here are some of the highlights:
- How to read a seed packet — honestly, for a new gardener, seed packets are like reading the Encyclopedia Brittanica. It used to mess me up all the time. Thank God Dee explains it so clearly!
- Fertilizer Decoding — What’s all this about NPK? We gardeners sometimes unnecessarily make things more difficult, but Dee breaks it down for us. You don’t need to be a chemist to get it.
- Weeding as Meditation — I totally get this. In our world of uber busyness, gardening offers a way to keep our bodies and hands moving while giving our minds a rest.
- How to compost — My garden always looks/grows better and more healthy when I use my own compost. If you don’t have the space, you can certainly buy good compost, but Dee shows you how if you are inclined.
- Plant suggestions — Which vegetables should you try first? What are the easiest flowers? Which grow from seeds best?
- Plus tips from other gardeners as well — Dee has friends all over the country who share their best tips for gardening. Haven’t we always heard that gardeners are the most generous people? This book is almost like having a little garden club with you while you poke around and try new things. What’s more fun that that?
To celebrate Dee’s book, a bunch of us are getting together to throw a virtual book release party, and I know you love a party! Leave a comment on my blog here and you will be entered to win a SeedKeepers Deluxe seedkeeper and a burlap girdle.
Now, to enter to win any number of other garden goodies, go to our friends’ blogs below, read their review and leave a comment! It’s that easy.
Niki Jabbour at Niki Jabbour, The Year Round Veggie Gardener.
Carmen Johnston at Carmen Johnston Gardens — Garden Girl pants with knee pads and a David Austin rose, ‘The Alnwick Rose’ catalog link for ordering bare root roses.
Remember: If you don’t leave a way to contact you in your comment, then you can’t win! Please remember to add your email address when commenting; I want you to win!
Disclaimer: I was sent a complimentary copy of Dee’s book to review, but my review is my own.