Saucy Magazine Reviews “You Grow Girl” Book

From: Saucy Magazine

“This is the gardening book I wish I could have had when I started out gardening. New gardeners will find this book to be a fine primer on planning a garden (whether in-ground or in containers), sowing seeds, planting, growing and harvesting, making compost, and coping with garden diseases and pests, and experienced gardeners will also enjoy its style, energy, ideas and attitude.

You Grow Girl is written in a casual, conversational tone, but it’s never dumbed-down: plants are referred to by botanical name (and the book tells you why: “Using Latin names sounds nerdy and pretentious, especially when common names are so easy, but it’s actually a valuable communication tool that will make asking questions at the nursery and talking to other gardeners a whole lot clearer. Plus, it makes you feel really smart.”). Instructions are never given as mere commands from on high, but are accompanied by sensible, clear-cut and convincing explanations (“Thinning: Your little seedlings are going to shoot up like power plants. Just when they’re looking their best, it’s time to show some tough love. A bunch of tightly packed seedlings can become sickly as they fight for root space, light, and nutrition. It’s a brutal job, but sacrificing a few will be worth it in the long run”).

Urban gardeners will be thrilled to find step-by-step instructions on growing not just flowers, but food, on their fire escapes, windowsills or balconies — and may be inspired to join or start up a community garden. You Grow Girl takes you beyond the garden with ideas for botanical and gardening crafts ranging from the practical (building a planter box) to the fanciful (starting a carnivorous plant container bog garden). It’s refreshing to find these projects presented with the attitude of “here’s something that’s cool to do as a gift for a friend or a gift to yourself,” rather than as an imaginary merit badge competition. I’ve already decided to try the gardening apron sewing project (and the chive-blossom infused vinegar project, the chicken-wire cloche project, and the lavender-and-calendula gardener hand salve project…).

Although the back cover proclaims that “this is not your grandmother’s gardening book,” the lessons in this book are timeless. What you can learn about how to garden from this book will remain viable long after the low-slung trousers on its cover have gone in and out of fashion a few times — and even after it’s remembered a generation or two from now as having been someone’s grandmother’s gardening book.”- Chan Stroman

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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