The Gardener's Gripe Book

Overview

A Maddening Endeavor

Perennials behaving like annuals, dead and gone after just one season. Neighbors' tomatoes that always come in a week earlier than yours. Fickleness, hard work, and ethical dilemmas (you've live-trapped the woodchuck-now what?). It's gardening, Abby Adams loves, it, and in a book as perceptive as it is funny she shares a lifetime's obsessions with its mysterious ways.

Literate, funny, studded with quotes and ...

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Overview

A Maddening Endeavor

Perennials behaving like annuals, dead and gone after just one season. Neighbors' tomatoes that always come in a week earlier than yours. Fickleness, hard work, and ethical dilemmas (you've live-trapped the woodchuck-now what?). It's gardening, Abby Adams loves, it, and in a book as perceptive as it is funny she shares a lifetime's obsessions with its mysterious ways.

Literate, funny, studded with quotes and ironic observations, here is a series of honest takes on dozens of subjects that all gardeners will relate to. With wit and warmth, Abby Adams tells the truth about the fascinating, frustrating, all-absorbing endeavor called gardening. Two-color illustrations throughout.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A very funny down-to-earth gardener takes a swipe at gardening pretense and vows to "tell no lies." With Will Rogers-style good will and common sense, pet peeves grow into a belly-laugh of a book. The well-organized myriad of topics includes: a respectable and entertaining history of gardening ("From Eve to Martha Stewart"); the wrongfully maligned lawn and its environmentally-correct alternatives (e.g., meadows-in-cans-"It is better to tear your money into little pieces and scatter them to the wind"); dirt (a soil analysis by an extension agent is like an astrologer saying "you have 3 planets in your 6th house, when all you want to know is whether or not you should get married"). Equally amusing are ventings on vegetables, perennials, "tree$" and garden enemies (don't miss the repellent recipe calling for Japanese beetles in the blender-"this is the fun part"). Longer chapters are spliced with essays such as "Gourmet Gardeners" who "clip recipes from gardening magazines (this is equivalent to gleaning medical advice from Vanity Fair") and "Smell" ("`Aromatic' herbs mostly aren't"; paperwhites and hyacinths are "olfactory offenders"). A welcome, resounding reveille for gardeners who have dwelt too long with glossy pictures and impossible expert advice. (Mar.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563056475
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/5/1995
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 6.96 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Abby Adams is the author of An Uncommon Scold (1,000 quotes from women) and, with her husband, High Jinx and Transylvania Station. Born and raised in New York City, she has at various times lived in San Francisco, in London, in Woodstock, New York, and on Fire Island. She has always gardened.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

What Is a Garden, Anyway?

Everything I Know About Gardening I Learned from My Houseplants

From Eve to Martha Stewart

Micro-Gardening

Gourmet Gardeners

To Mow or Not to Mow

Tree$

Rainy-Day Projects

Smell

Epiphanies in the Herbaceous Border

Vegetable Blues

The Good Earth, and the Not So Good

Consider the Onion

Enemies List

Mothballs & Snakes

The Wish Book

Afterword

Sources and Suggested Reading

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