One Garden Book is Not Like the Others

Which one is different, do you know?  I know.

Folks say that nothing is truly original.  I, however, posses two pieces of evidence that prove that statement is wrong.  Both Amanda Thomsen – better known as Kiss My Aster – and her book, Kiss My Aster; A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You, are completely original.

I’ve grown to know Amanda through social media over the last 4 years. Thomsen – from my perspective – is a jacked-up combo of Albert Einstein, June Cleaver, Piet Oudolf and Whoopi Goldberg – rolled around and breaded in Betsey Johnson. You might want toss a bit of Lucille Ball and Henry Rollins into the mix in order to get it just right. See??  That’s original.  Plus – and I hate her for this – she can write.

Her new book, Kiss My Aster, reflects her uniquely artistic way. It’s a graphic book on home landscaping, drawn in accessible, fun, cartoon fashion. Thomsen is the antonym of a lazy writer. She whoops her words into submission until they not only inform and create a visual image, but also make you snort and spew your chamomile tea up through your nose.

Truly hilarious, crafted words greet you at every page.  She manages to make soil pH amusing.  I know?? Right?  The title of that page is, “ Dropping Acid (or Alkalinity)”  Her page on soil is titled “Soil, Yourself.”  The pages on annuals are headed with “Annual Means Always Having to Say Goodbye.”  I swear, this post isn’t like a movie trailer that includes the entirety of the good stuff in the movie.  The book is full of entertaining mind romps that makes all the information as easy to digest as a saltine cracker.

While creative and comical, Thomsen packs her book with rock solid advice (like please do not use white stone in the garden ANYWHERE) and knowledge she has accrued as a landscape designer. Any gardener would learn from this book. Where else can you play landscaping Mad Libs while studying up on compost?

If you’d like a chance to win a copy, Amanda’s publisher, Storey Publishing, is giving a way a copy. You can enter by leaving a comment with contact information on the Storey blog post about the book. You can’t enter here, on any other garden blog, but feel free to comment here if you just want to make sure I know how brilliant I am. The winner will be chosen at random.


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About the Author

Laura Mathews

Laura is a garden writer and photographer. She writes online content for gardening websites, writes for gardening publications and blogs for three gardening blogs. Her interests are local food, organic gardening, backyard homesteading and native plants. She assists gardening related clients with social media. And occasionally, she'll offer a solicited opinion as a garden coach.

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