by Amy Stewart
It was delightful. Amy Stewart tells about living in a small beachside town and growing her first garden, with all the discoveries that entails. Parts are about the weather, the neighbors, the summer influx of tourists. But mostly it's about the garden: how she learned to feed her soil, how she moved from just growing pretty flowers into vegetables, how she picked up ideas from touring estates with beautiful manicured gardens. I appreciate that gardeners seem unashamed of writing and telling the world about their mistakes, and really you can learn a lot from that. I've made many of the same ones she has, like not testing my soil (still guilty of that). She discusses composting (both the traditional kind and also with worms), design, battles with bugs, the contoversy of cats in the garden. Growing tomatoes, oranges and basil. The thrills of saving your own seed, and collecting seed from others. Her disinterest in houseplants until she discovered orchids. The satisfaction of eating your homegrown produce, and finally the delightful problem of having surplus vegetables on your hands when the garden is finally in full swing.
It was a wonderful read that made me feel guilty for not being fully invested in my garden this year- mine's rather shabby as I'm kept busy with a toddler just learning to walk. I just can't quite focus as much but Stewart reminded me of so much I want to do better with next year.
rating: 4/5 ........ 261 pages, 2001 ........ find it at Powell's Books or on Amazon
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