Synopses & Reviews
Amy Stewart had a simple dream. She yearned for a garden filled with colorful jumbles of vegetables and flowers. After she and her husband finished graduate school, they pulled up their Texas roots and headed west to Santa Cruz, California. With little money in their pockets, they rented a modest seaside bungalow with a small backyard. It wasn't much a twelve-hundred-square-foot patch of land with a couple of fruit trees, and a lot of dirt. A good place to start.
From the Ground Up is Stewart's quirky, humorous chronicle of the blossoms and weeds in her first garden and the lessons she's learned the hard way. From planting seeds her great-grandmother sends to battling snails, gophers, and aphids, Stewart takes us on a tour of four seasons in her coastal garden. Confessing her sins and delighting in small triumphs, she dishes the dirt for both the novice and the experienced gardener. Along the way, she brings her quintessential California beach town to life complete with harbor seals, monarch butterfly migrations, and an old-fashioned seaside amusement park just down the street. Each chapter includes helpful tips alongside the engaging story of a young woman's determination to create a garden in which the plants struggle to live up to the gardener's vision.
"Written in a humorous, conversational style." Library Journal
"In a first book filled with promise, Stewart tellingly recounts the making of a garden and the essential life lessons the act of gardening so often teaches." Booklist
Advance Praise for From the Ground UP
"An adventure story, charmingly told, in which a young woman is bitten by the gardening bug, tills her plot for the sheer joy of it, and emerges with here own personal gardening style." (BARBARA DAMROSCH, author of The Garden Primer and Theme Gardens
"A treasure trove of delightful stories, filled with wit, wisdom, and know-how for all gardens-a rare horticultural treat." (CARL H. KLAUS, author of My Vegetable Love and Weathering Winter)
"An amusing tale." (CYNTHIA KLING, Garden Design)
"Every gardener starts out blissfully innocent-and woefully ignorant. Amy Stewart lets us share her journey through all the mishaps and discoveries of gardeners and make the trip informative, honest, enjoyable, totally worthwhile, and, at times, outright hilarious!" (PAT STONE, editor, GreenPrints magazine)
Amy Stewart had a simple dream. She wanted a garden.
When she and her husband finished graduate school, they headed west to Santa Cruz, California. With little money in their pockets, they found a modest seaside cottage with a small backyard. It wasn't much a twelve hundred square foot patch of land with a couple of fruit trees and a lot of dirt - but it was a good place to start.
From the Ground Up is Stewart's chronicle of the seedlings and weeds, cats and compost, worms and watering that transform a tiny plot of earth into a glorious garden. From planting the seeds her grandmother sends to battling snails, gophers, and aphids, Stewart takes us on a tour of her coastal garden and shares the lessons she's learned the hard way. In the process, she brings her California beach town to life-complete with harbor seals, monarch butterfly migrations, and an old-fashioned, seaside amusement part just down the street.
Delighting in triumphs and confessing to a multitude of gardening sins, Stewart dishes the dirt for both the novice and experienced gardener. With helpful tips in each chapter, From the Ground Up tells the story of a young woman's determination to create a garden in which the plants struggle to live up to the gardener's vision.
About the Author
Amy Stewart's book, The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms, won the California Horticultural Society's Writer's Award for 2005, was a featured selection of the Discovery Channel Book Club, and was named a Best Book of the Year by the San Jose Mercury News. Her articles appear regularly in Organic Gardening and the San Francisco Chronicle. The recipient of a 2006 National Endowment of the Arts for Literature Fellowship, Stewart lives in northern California.
Table of Contents
I. PROLOGUE: Planting the Seed
First Garden (7)
First Harvest (69)
Oranges and Roses (104)
Manual Labor (115)
A GROWING SEASON
Insects, Good and Bad (145)
Clearing a Path (168)
First Visitors (185)
Surplus Produce (224)
Fall Migration (233)
EPILOGUE: Starting Over (243)
Letter to the Next Gardener at 118 Buena Vista (257)