Book Review & Giveaway: The 20-30 Something Garden Guide

Book Review & Giveaway: The 20-30 Something Garden Guide

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. 20-30 Something Garden Guide 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. Shawna Coronado's website — a gift certificate to High Country Gardens for a Summer Dreams Garden.

Whitney Curtis at The Curtis Casa — David Austin Rose, 'Princess Alexandra of Kent' and Authentic Haven Brand Moo Poo Tea.

Colleen Dieter at Red Wheelbarrow Plants — Garden Girl shorts and Fiskars PowerGear 18” loppers.

Robin Haglund at Garden Mentors — Buckaroo Brand Worm Castings, a hula planter and Empire Soil Builder, from Sanctuary Soil.

Rachel Hough at The Domestic Artiste — Fiskars Tools, two sets of loppers, one is the PowerGear Lopper 32” and the other Power-Lever 28”.

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.

Carol Michel at May Dreams Gardens — DeWit Tool kit and Botanical Interests Organic Heirloom Seed Bank Collection. 

Pam Penick at Digging — Three small Bee Preservers,

Genevieve Schmidt at North Coast Gardening — Annie’s Annuals gift certificate and Keira Watering Cans.

Marie Wreath at the (Not Always) Lazy W Ranch — Longfield Gardens tulips & daffodils

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.   

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  1. says

    What a fantastic idea! A ‘blog party’ is a great way to get gardeners together and discover all the wonderful bloggers out there in the world of horticultural geekiness!
    I could so use a seed keeper! I have zip-loc bags full of a jumble of seeds from the seed-exchanges that I subscribe to as a member of various horticultural societies and they are in no order at all!

  2. Carol Yemola says

    Having such a great time with this garden blog party! I love reading all the bloggers and getting some great gardening ideas at the same time! Thanks so much!

  3. says

    Like you all I had was Better Homes and Gardens. I looked to it for everything. I’m not sure if there were other books out there but if so I never looked. I’m sure D’s book would make a wonderful present for a beginning gardener. Me, I’m a big seed collector and for all that have never learnt to organize. So the change to get organized should not be passed over. Count me in.

  4. anne says

    I can’t wait to take a look at this book. It looks like a really great gardening book that I wish I had when I was just starting out too! Thanks for the chance to win, too!

  5. Edie Marie Delzer says

    Looms like an awesome book! Will definitely be checking it out! I could sure use a place to store all my seeds as well, being the seed hoarder I am. lol 🙂

  6. Mel says

    What a fun idea! would love this giveaway — this harsh Chicago winter has really gotten me down. 🙂

  7. Jennifer Essad says

    the support system you formed is awesome, I appreciate you all sharing w/us these wonderful ways to enter to win-thanks – I’m an intermediate gardener, having moved from Michigan to Florida there’s so much difference in gardening among them the fact that there is now real soil to our yards.

  8. Renee G says

    I can hardly wait for it to start getting warmer around here, so I can start getting out in the yard again.

  9. OhLouise says

    The book sounds luvverly! I will be reading it that’s for sure. And please, pretty please, what an exquisite seed keeper. 🙂

  10. says

    Dee’s book looks amazing and I’m really intrigued by the burlap girdle. Women my age cringe at the word “girdle” but I’d be willing to give these a shot in my garden.

  11. Briana says

    Thanks for sharing! I need that book! I am right where you started– early 30’s momma at home and itching to garden!

  12. Jeanette says

    I want to learn how to grow okra successfully, too! Your seedkeeper would be an awesome organizer for any gardener.

  13. Nena says

    This sounds like a book that would be good to give my granddaughter. The ex-dil’s family are not gardeners and the gd is trying her hand without much support.

  14. Julie says

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’ve just ordered Dee’s book online, and eagerly await its arrival. Soon enough, spring will reach hardiness zone 5a (though hopefully not before we get another large snowfall or two to help stave off the drought), and outdoor gardening can commence once more!

  15. says

    Wait, you actually are supposed to read those seed packets? I just tend to throw the seeds on the ground and see what happens. (okay, that’s not true – I actually read the planting depths part, but that’s it.)

  16. says

    I LOVE Dee’s book, it is so good! I need to find the part about fertilizer, I haven’t gotten that far yet, and I’ve been wondering about it. That seed organizer is cool. I have a index card organizer that is stuff overfull right now – and I just ordered more seeds last night!

  17. Mia Graves says

    Dee’s book sounds like a must have, will have to order a copy. It will make a super addition to my growing collection. this is a great contest and I wish everyone could win!


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