"Are you too embarrassed to ask the simple rudimentary questions about gardening? Are you too timid to enjoy, or even start a garden? You, then, are the faint of heart, and at last there is a book just for you."
Review - by Jodi DeLong
Have you ever picked up a so-called book of helpful hints, only to find that the tone of the writer is pompous and downright critical? Robin Wheeler is not that kind of writer. She calls herself "the Woman Who Never Laughs at Silly Gardening Questions" because there ARE no silly gardening questions.
Everyone who rejoices over new growth in spring, the fragrance of lavender in a herb bed, or given away tons of zucchini and tomatoes was once a novice gardener. At one point in our lives or another, we’ve all worried about how deep to plant the peonies or which end goes up on the bulb or how to keep the cats out of the catnip. Gardening is meant to be a pleasure and not a tedious chore; Wheeler offers a cornucopia of gardening tips with a casual “you can do this” attitude that is sure to charm readers. In her chapter on pruning, for example, she offers this caveat: “Warning: Advice in this chapter may cause apoplexy in the traditional pruner.” She suggests that pruning is “a guy thing” and extols the virtues of a less is more approach to pruning.
If you’re going to buy for yourself or another gardener one ‘helpful hints’ book which is sure to be read, enjoyed and put to use, check out Robin Wheeler’s book. Particularly entertaining are the “Ask Astilbe” passages where questions are dealt with in a “Dear Abby” format which is at once funny and factual. You will not only find yourself a better gardener, but you’ll likely chuckle your way to that point. And aren’t lessons learned with laughter better than those learned by criticism?