Synopses & Reviews
The 20-Minute Gardener is a hands-on, user-friendly guide based on low-maintenance organic techniques that puts the fun back into gardening as well as the money back into your wallet. This book represents gardening for "the rest of us." It covers everything from choosing the right plants (ones that are easy to care for) and shopping for them, to designing your garden without graph paper and getting rid of pests (see Chapter 9, "Peter Rabbit Had It Coming"). All in just 20 minutes a day.
In addition to the basics are Tom and Marty's easy-to-follow, inexpensive 20-minute projects, such as "A 20-Minute Nocturne," in which a workaholic/commuter (in this case, Marty) can create a garden that he/she can enjoy after dark, or "Rooting for Roses," in which Tom tells you how he takes cuttings from the most self-sufficient, well-adapted, and flourishing roses around--for free!
Finally, there are tips and lists galore. Find out how to read a fertilizer label, what kind of tools to buy (note that Tom says don't listen to Marty on this one because he "thinks the scuffle hoe is a square dance he did one time when he was down in Texas"), and how to make the most of your neighbors' kids, and read "Tom's Sixteen All-time Favorite Connoisseur Plants" and "Marty's Top Ten Garden Plants" (number one: grass).
And remember, if all else fails, Chapter 11, "Gardeners Anonymous," features a five-step program for horticultural self-help (step one: gardens are from Earth; gardeners are from Mars!).
It's like Marty says--this book "is the most fun you can have in the garden without throwing dirt!"
About the Author
Tom Christopher and Marty Asher's "20-Minute Gardener" column appears monthly in House & Garden. Tom Christopher is a professional horticulturalist who trained at the New York Botanical Garden. He has written for The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and other publications, and has been featured on National Public Radio. He lives in Middletown, Connecticut. Marty Asher is editor in chief of Vintage Books. His humor pieces have appeared in The New York Times and Newsday. He lives in Westport, Connecticut.