From Library Journal
How-to gardening books abound; how-not-to gardening memoirs are rarer. When Stewart and her husband bought their first home in California, she was eager to grow the bountiful, colorful garden she had so long envisioned. With much enthusiasm and little knowledge, she began her weekly trek to the local nursery to stock up on all varieties of seedlings. Why, she wondered, did they not flourish after being planted in the bare backyard? Only after many mistakes, much expense, and worrisome encounters with weeds and bugs was she able to transform her little plot into "a garden with soul," jumbled and luxuriant. Along with a witty description of her mistakes, the author shares her solutions. She gives other beginning gardeners tips on making earthworm manure, improving the soil by sheet composting, encouraging beneficial insects, and sharing excess produce with neighbors. Written in a humorous, conversational style, this book is recommended for public libraries.DIlse Heidmann, San Marcos, TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Stewart, a young Texan, creates her first garden from scratch in the beach town of Santa Cruz, California. Although the rental bungalow she shares with her husband, Scott, is close enough to the town's boardwalk for its amusement-park aromas and roller-coaster cries to infiltrate the not-so-private space of their house and yard, she rolls up her sleeves anyway and sets about beautifying the neighborhood. Accompanied by her feline pals, Stewart pursues a commendable path, one taken by a flourishing society of green thumbs bent on eradicating weeds and cultivating the soil so that flowers will grow and vegetables will prosper. In an episodic style, she writes of her progress from a novice with little know-how to a developing and altogether enthusiastic gardener intent on enriching a small plot of land. At the close of each chapter, Stewart offers recipes and tips to help ease the way for readers unfamiliar with garden basics. In a first book filled with promise, Stewart tellingly recounts the making of a garden and the essential life lessons the act of gardening so often teaches. Alice JoyceCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved