What’s on my nightstand, besides a layer of dust? Well, there’s a big pile of magazines and Cassandra Danz’ Mrs. Greenthumbs, How I Turned a Boring Yard into a Glorious Garden and How You Can, Too. This book and it’s companion, Mrs. Greenthumbs Plows Ahead, Five Steps to the Drop-Dead Gorgeous Garden of Your Dreams have been my favorite gardening books for at least a decade. I’ve read and reread them several times, enjoying Mrs. Greenthumbs witty take on gardening and being inspired by her trials and tribulations and eventual gardening successes. Reading these books is like watching a really good sitcom staring my favorite comedian.
The first book, Mrs. Greenthumbs, is arranged around the months of the year, beginning in January when Mrs. G. plans her garden, pouring over and eventually ordering from catalogs. (It was written in 1993 when we didn’t do as much internet shopping and garden catalogs were still the thing.) Most of the chapters are based on Mrs. G’s radio shows since they follow the months of the year.
Her book contains enough horticultural information to keep actual dirt gardeners happy: the magic, however, is in her ability to keep armchair gardeners and even nongardeners entertained and inspired with her obvious lust for growing things. Community Gardening Review
I get a kick out of this review. Her “obvious lust” extends well beyond gardening. This is the only garden writer I’ve ever read who makes gardening sexy. It’s just too funny—her poor or maybe lucky husband, Walter.
Sadly, Cassandra Danz died of cancer in 2002 having written only the two books. Her appearances on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee are out there, too, in TV land.
Mrs. Greenthumbs is available on Amazon for $3.98 plus shipping. What a deal, I paid $12.00 back in the day.