The 20-Minute Gardener: The Garden of Your Dreams Without Giving Up Your Life, Your Job, or Your Sanity

Tom Christopher, Author, T. Christopher, Author, M. Asher, Author Random House (NY) $19.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-679-44814-3
The authors of Compost This Book! aim hard at putting the pleasure back into gardening: ""The garden lives for you-you don't live for the garden"" is one of many declarations. Christopher, a professional horticulturist, and Asher, a publishing executive with an aversion to yardwork, offer a gleefully subversive take on gardening, and if their wiseacre pokes at horticultural pretension are sometimes over the top, the substance of their approach has lots to offer gardeners who value other areas of their lives. Numerous approaches for minimizing and simplifying garden chores are outlined, from ways to avoid weeding (e.g., cover dirt with clear plastic early in the season to kill incipient weeds; mulch) to making environmentally safe insecticidal sprays and rustling vintage roses from old graveyards. For workaholics who are seldom home during the day, they offer tips on planting a carefree night-blooming garden. Served up in appetizer-size bites, with snappy chapter headings (""Peter Rabbit Had It Coming"") and sidebars on such topics as ""Martinis-Nature's Secret Cure for Weeds,"" the advice is resourceful and creative. Although the Odd Couple schtick, compulsive Christopher vs. laid-back Asher, can be tiresome (""Tips for growing daffodils: Put them where you're not likely to step on them, bozo""), gardeners who read the book in short intervals of, say, 20 minutes, will find much useful material here. Author tour. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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FORMATS
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-679-45820-3
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-375-75266-7
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