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Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You Paperback – Dec 18 2012

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 29 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A funny, wry how-to gardening book Dec 25 2012
By Virginia music lover - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If Dorothy Parker had written a beginners' guide to gardening, this would be it. Ms. Thomsen has a wry, sly wit. She also knows lots about gardening -- not just the flowers end, but the big stuff end as well.

This is an ideal book for the beginning gardener who does not want to read a boring gardening book. I am an advanced gardener, having owned a variety of homes over 30 years. And having made tons of basic mistakes over 30 years. This book aims to prevent those mistakes, such as planting trees too close to houses, not going with an overall plan, etc. (I bought the book because I follow Ms. Thomsen's humorous "Kiss My Aster" page on Facebook.) Even though I know lots about gardening, I still learned things from the book. She also got me to think more about the purpose of gardening. It's important to ask what you want to accomplish with a given space before you start (something I've always been bad at doing.) Besides looking nice, do you want to impress? Or is this mainly for privacy? I figure if I had had this book 30 years ago I would have saved a few thousand dollars and many hours of digging up mistakes.

The book is laid out in steps, so you can skip ahead if you know the basic basics. However, I didn't want to skip ahead at all because there is always some humor lurking somewhere on a page. And that is the key to this book, because you will read it end to end. The alternative is to buy a boring encyclopedia of gardening with lots of glossy pictures that you will never read, or will consult after it's too late. "Hey, honey, I think I know why our row of boxwoods died, and it's spelled d-o-g-p-e-e." Fitting with the overall theme, instead of glossy pictures, the book has cartoon-like drawings.

If I were pairing this book with another, it would be S.J. Perelman's Acres and Pains, which takes one through the hell of owning a country house.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Most Innovative Design Book in Years April 23 2013
By Jean A. Van Krevelen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's a reason why Gen X and Y are not that interested in gardening. It's because most gardening books, shows and radio are for the over fifty crowd. Now, don't get excited, I am fast approaching fifty, and there's nothing wrong with liking more traditional content.
BUT, younger folks find it stuffy, boring and definitely not funny.
Amanda Thomsen and her publisher decided to step outside the box and write an innovative, fun to read design book that is helpful for newbie gardeners...and for old hands who want a fresh perspective.
To say that I love this book would be an understatement. Do yourself a favor and read it. It's like Highlights for adults!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Funny basic guide to gardening Feb. 11 2013
By Laurie A. Brown - Published on
Format: Paperback
This guide to basic gardening has two things that set it aside from most gardening books: it's put together like a webpage, full of graphics and references to other pages, and it's funny. Author Thomsen has a blog of the same name as the book on the Fine Gardening website, so I was happy to find she had a book out.

This is a book for the beginning gardener, especially for one with a new yard to deal with. Thomsen walks you through the process: the idea stage, mapping the existing space, deciding what you can realistically grow, hardscaping, planting. Every section points out that you don't have to do it all alone; you can always `hire a guy' for what you feel uncomfortable with, whether it's design, digging, or maintenance. My favorite section is the planning one; the author encourages you to put down *everything* you'd like, no matter how wild and crazy. After all, if it turns out to be impossible, it's only on paper, and who knows? You might be able to do it! And above all, make the garden for YOU, not for the garden magazines, the designers, or the neighbors. It's your space, make it to give you pleasure and reflect your personality. This book won't tell you how to prune roses or divide peonies, but it's a good start.
Exactly what I was looking for! May 1 2014
By Alyson - Published on
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up on a whim at the library and now I am going to purchase a copy for myself! What a great book for a beginning gardener like me. Totally funny yet very informative (i.e., suggestions on how to create shade in your yard include building a pergola or planting a tree and waiting 50 years. So funny!). I have purchased other "hip" gardening books that are good but the info just never sticks in my brain no matter how hard I try. This fun book offers load of information and lots of cross references to more helpful tips. This is a great book to add to your library or to give as a gift.
GREAT BOOK April 14 2014
By Teren's Mom - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a Valentine present to a friend. She is an avid gardener, and she really loves it. I did not read it because I had it shipped directly to her. I may purchase It for myself in future.