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From the Ground Up: The Story of a First Garden Hardcover – January 19, 2000
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
More About the Author
Stewart has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other newspapers and magazines, and has appeared frequently on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, and--just once--on TLC's Cake Boss. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Horticulture Society's Book Award, and an International Association of Culinary Professionals Food Writing Award.
Top Customer Reviews
Each chapter includes helpful tips on neighborly propagation, composting, worm juice, rose pruning techniques, how to make a bug love you & concocting a gardener's bath. They are not what you think - some of this novice's results are hilarious while others are downright commonsensical. One of the first tips she gives us is on Making a Sun Map - do give it a go - I haven't looked at my garden the same since I discovered this clue.
Alongside the story of this young woman's determination to create a garden in which the plants will live up to her vision, she remembers family moments from her childhood while facing down obstinate natives more wily than her. Talk about turf wars!
A fine companion for anyone contemplating becoming addicted to gardening! Amy Stewart has since moved to northern California where she is hard at work on her second garden &, I hope, her second book.
The point isn't that I want an expert to tell me what to think. Rather, I want to hear about this new universe from a distinct, coherent point of view. From there, I can develop my own perspective. I don't want an authority so much as a critical sensibility. These new subjects always teem with boggling amounts of details - the eightfold path of Buddhism, the varieties of wrestling holds, the latin names for all those flowers. I'll never learn all this stuff by trying to memorize it, and that wouldn't be much fun, anyway. Rather, what I want is to absorb the perspective of a savvy participant, so that the field as a whole makes sense to me. Once I do that, the details can fall in place over time, if I decide to stick with it.
I appear to be in the minority in this preference - most people seem to prefer the bland-to-cutesy textbook style of the Dummies guides. Guide series do have their places - I'm a big fan of the " . . . for Beginners" series of cartoon guides. When they're done right, as in the classic Marx for Beginners by Rius, those are a great way to get your bearings on a subject. The newer "Introducing . . ." cartoon series is also great. And Oxford University Press has a nifty ongoing series of "Very Short Introduction to . . . " books. The Jung books from both of the latter series have been great entry points into a massive body of work.Read more ›
I'd received From the Ground Up as a present from my Mom. It is the story of one lady's first attempt at gardening, and as one who taught horticulture for 20 years, and who has gardened for almost 50 years, it was remarkable fun for me to see all the little mistakes she made, the discoveries she uncovered, the personal disasters and achievements that accompanied her quest to create a wonderful garden.
Really great gardens don't just happen, not at all. They are created with huge effort, smarts, learning, help and advice from other gardeners, with tips from garden books, and most of all by the vision of the gardener in charge.
There exists within the wide range of garden writing a host of some rather fabulously good writing. These are the books that combine solid garden advice with a large dose of very personal observance and experience. Although From the Ground Up is a first book, it reads as though written by someone who had been writing for many years, someone who had honed and polished her writing so that every line sparkled. I would expect that this book would appeal most to those who love to garden, but because the level of writing is so unusually excellent, I'd guess almost anyone who appreciates literate writing would enjoy it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed this little garden memoir. Brought back a lot of memories of all my first gardening attempts in different parts of the country (and world), only to learn that all... Read morePublished 13 months ago by A Reynolds
For those of us who find fulfillment and a spiritual awakening every time we plunge our hands into dirt, this is a wonderful book!Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
Wanted to read the first book of Amy Stewart. Interesting and amusing read. She has a light touch and entertaining style.Published 20 months ago by Mezzonora
I'm so not alone! I was just embarking on my very first garden when I was reading this book. I love Amy Stewart's writing style (I started with "Wicked Plants" and then... Read morePublished 20 months ago by C. Miller
A quick read, poignant and humorous, and she even includes hints in each chapter about growing different plants. Ms. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Marlene
Great read for those looking to either start a garden or reflect on their first garden. Great examples and anecdotes along the way.Published 21 months ago by Patricia Mullany