Entertaining and vibrant, Kiss My Aster goes beyond horticultural information and ideas and stirs creativity. Much of the appeal of Thomsen’s book are the delightful color drawings that recall the magic that gardens held for us as children. By pairing the illustrations with handwritten-style fonts, a synergy is engendered that perfectly complements the witty text’s blend of practical tips (locate underground cables and lines) and encouragement: approach landscaping as a form of self-expression and dream big. Word games and scavenger hunts are just part of the whimsical interactivity in this graphic presentation, where how-to meets choose-your-own-adventure presentation. Thomsen’s many options help simplify the decision making involved in planning, planting, and, if desired, hiring a pro. She urges readers to grow their own food, listing funny and sensible reasons; for example, Garlic and garlic chives repel vampires. She devotes detailed sections to worms (Eat my trash), composting (Compostest is the mostest), and vines (antisocial climbers), along with providing essentials on soil, trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, and more. For novice gardeners who will be inspired by visions of garden parties with elephants, balloons, and unicorns. --Whitney Scott
Garden blogger and landscape designer Thomsen (Grocery Gardening)offers beginning gardening advice in a totally fresh way: This is a graphic guide aimed at newbie gardeners who may have cashed in their hipster chips for homeownership but haven't changed their style. The gardening basics – design, hardscape, soil, water, plant selection, care -- are covered with panache. Thomsen's voice has a sassy edge ("Getting bored with all this? Why not make a chore cootie catcher?", a real object for which there are instructions), and the full-color graphics by Am I Collective simply steal the show. The book is fittingly idiosyncratic, which will profoundly challenge any readers who prefer linear thinking, chapters that treat one subject at a time, and tables of contents that help a reader find something quickly. But the book is irresistibly flip-through and a thing of beauty that will help a new school of gardeners who don't want to do it granny's way. Simple but revolutionary, it's an amusing new way to offer Gardening 101.
Amanda Thomsen’s new book, Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You (Storey Publishing, January 2013) shakes up traditional garden book publishing. Steeped in rock and roll irreverence and sound horticultural knowledge, Amanda takes us on a journey that is practical, active, and full of energy.
(Niki Jabbour, author of The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener
A garden book for the age of graphic novels, in which wiseacre wordplay and cartoony illustrations make basic knowledge about plants and garden planning accessible to all. Behind it all is a landscaper and blogger who truly knows her stuff.
Entertaining and vibrant, Kiss My Aster goes beyond horticultural information and ideas and stirs creativity… By pairing the illustrations with handwritten-style fonts, a synergy in engendered that perfectly complements the witty text’s blend of practical tips and encouragement.
We all know trying to design your garden and keep your sanity can be a challenge. Thankfully there are experts full of comical gardening advice such as Amanda Thomsen who can successfully walk you through the steps to create a landscape tailored to your needs, wants, and style.
Zany at times, Kiss My Aster is founded on sensible advice delivered in a way that makes the reader laugh, or at least snicker, with every page tuning.
Her iconoclastic, and drenchingly colorful, new book, "Kiss My Aster", is her manifesto, her plea and promise that gardening should be one grand adventure. And, yes, you can still wow the neighbors."