Katie Elzer-Peters is one of those dynamos of the gardening world who is so busy Getting Things Done that you may not have actually heard of her yet. But she’s been working behind the scenes on so many projects – nursery newsletters, writing articles for sites too numerous to mention, and mentoring authors with Cool Springs Press – that even if you haven’t seen Katie’s name, you’ve almost certainly benefited from her work.
And the special juice she brings to every project is her preternatural talent of simplifying the complex. So when I heard that her first published book was to be a guide for beginning gardeners, I could think of no better author for the topic. In The Beginner’s Illustrated Guide to Gardening, Katie brings her talent to the fore with a simple, straightforward, relaxed guide to gardening.
This isn’t a book that gardening geeks need. But how many of us have a friend who comes over, looks longingly at our attempts to grow things, and wishes they were the kind of person who could do that? Or a young person in our life who wants to start a few seeds on their patio, but hasn’t ever really gardened before? This is exactly the kind of book I’ve wished I could give my friends and clients – warm, personal, and with a “you can totally do this!” kind of feel.
Yet it’s not overly chatty, and the text is delightfully simple. It’s got all the gardening tips that people like me have gathered over the years, yet aren’t usually covered in books. Things like how to understand a fertilizer label, or why to buy plants that are in bud rather than in bloom. Katie demystifies these processes and gives readers the benefit of years of experience. This would make a great textbook for Master Gardener or Intro to Horticulture classes to help students get a firm grounding in the basics.
A selection of topics she covers:
- How to read a seed packet
- How to read a hardiness zone map
- How to start seeds
- How to choose a healthy plant
- How to water plants
- How to care for a lawn mower
- How to fix bald spots in the lawn
- How to prune a tree
- How to stake a plant
- How to grow flowering bulbs
- How to landscape wet areas
- How to garden in narrow spaces
- How to mulch and edge landscape beds
This is just a portion of it, and the text is beautifully illustrated with loads of full-color photos that are professionally laid-out and easy to understand. I hear it’s already selling like hotcakes.
Want to win a copy? Cool Springs Press has been kind enough to offer one up to a lucky reader! To win, just leave a comment below and I’ll draw a winner randomly on February 22nd at noon. US only.
Edit: Susan with the daughter new to gardening has won! Susan, I’ve emailed you for your address. Thanks to everyone for entering, and if you want to pick up your own copy, it’s available now at Amazon!