From: LATimes (March 10, 2005.)
The dirt on alt gardening
by Alexandria Abramian-Mott
“Looking for an antidote to the gardening how-to book written by estate-owning bluebloods with eponymous tea roses? Gayla Trail, a bona fide alt chick with the cat glasses and obscure ’80s rock T-shirts to prove it, has the dirt. She has distilled the gardening process into a series of bite-sized, quirkily written sections for a new generation of land- and time-deprived DIY females (males, too, if you skip the parts about growing loofa sponges and making peppermint foot scrubs.) Don’t have a patch of dirt to call your own? A fire escape or a window sill will do, writes Trail, who devotes many pages to container gardening.
The book is high on practical advice and written for an instant-messaging generation looking for snapshots, not diatribes, of information. All you need to know about soil pH levels is distilled into one short paragraph while sewing a funky gardening apron is given two pages.
Blended in with the basics are Trail’s homegrown ideas, such as starting seeds in Jell-O, burying wine bottles upside down to border a path and planting a garden for pets (her cat is named Ã¢â‚¬â€ what else? Ã¢â‚¬â€ Volton). She even suggests scooping up droppings left from police horses for free manure and practicing guerrilla gardening Ã¢â‚¬â€ growing plants on public property Ã¢â‚¬â€ as a way of fostering a green thumb.
Bluebloods need not apply.”
An article by Karen von Hahn on Gayla Trail and You Grow Girl.
“…it’s as punchy, quirky and irreverent as its hip young urban audience.”
“Sanders (Trail) who is slight, intense and wears the statement eyeglasses of the srtistically inclined, also had trouble with the gardening industry’s conventional beauty ideal. “It was intimidating to see everything so clean and organized with nothing out of place. It seemed like there were these rules of entry. As if you have to know everything and have all this stuff, and everything has to look a certain way.”
“What you won’t find on You Grow Girl is anything that smacks of gardening’s ordinary bourgeois conventions.”
“Seeking neither beauty nor status, what (Trail) and her ilk want from gardening are its oldfashioned lessons of hardwork, patience and self-sufficiency — combined with an entirely new aesthetic that is infused with radical politics. Apart from gardening’s natural connection with the greening of the environment and protest against the spread of commercialized agribusiness, the politics of gardening for this generation of dirt-lovers is about self-expression and liberation.
“My mother’s generation skipped out on things like knitting and gardening because they didn’t want to be forced to do it to be a good wife,” (Trail) explains. “Now we are in a position that we can go back and reclaim these old skills but without the baggage.“”
You Grow Girl won in the category of “Favorite Place to Learn How to Grow Your Own” in the “2004 The Morning News Editor’s Awards in Online Excellence.” Thanks Morning News!
The Blog Generation Takes Up Its Trowels
You Grow Girl was interviewed for an New York Times article about young, urban gardeners.
Canadian Gardening – Site of the Month
“Sassy, unconventional and totally passionate about plants, You Grow Girl is refreshingly, um, fresh. The work of Toronto-based Gayla Trail and a host of volunteer contributors from around the world, You Grow Girl re-defines gardening for a new generation of gardeners. Under a cheeky veneer of scorn for conventional gardening wisdom lies a solid base of horticultural information delivered in Sex in the City style. From Jane Eaton Hamilton’s Adequate Gardener column (I admit it, I’m addicted) to the catnip test-off (which brand does your cat prefer?), the website is full of chuckles, surprises and, er, fun. Send a You Grow Girl e-card to a friend, read a plant journal, post a question to a forum or submit a gardening tip, whatever. Get real, get gardening with You Grow Girl.”