Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Down & Dirty! 43 Fun & Funky First-Time Projects & Activities to Get You Gardening by Ellen Zachos


First off, let me say that I am no expert when it comes to gardening. Far from it actually. But I love the idea of being a better gardener, expanding on what I do know already. Gardening is considered the most popular hobby in the world apparently and it's not hard to understand the appeal for people of all ages, for so many reasons.

 As an amateur gardener, I've had my share of garden plots and patches over the years. And oh what fun it was to see even the "simple stuff" that I was not intimated to try: like potatoes, carrots, onions, tomatoes....come "shoosting up" through the ground. Shoosting btw is a Green Acres gardening/farm term from the old  TV series. Highly technical! LOL  

So, in spite of the fact that the summer is coming to an end right now, here in Canada. And in spite of the fact that I had no garden plot to cultivate this year...I still love to read about the process and dream of a groovy green garden in the not too distant future. That's where this fun book comes in: Down & Dirty! 43 Fun & Funky Projects & Activities to Get You Gardening, is a terrific book for gardeners and wannabees, like me. And it is rather unique too.

Author Ellen Zachos demystifies the process of gardening for those of us who are rather new/challenged when it comes to all things green-thumb related. Unlike so many other gardening books I've read/browsed over the years, this one is not only easy to understand; it is divided into 43 diverse, all-inclusive and eye-catching projects, with something for everyone, even the kids.

A sampling of the projects:
  •  A Cutting Garden for All Seasons
  • An Evening Garden that Glows in the Dark (how cool does that sound)
  • A Garden of Feline Friends
  • A Dinosaur Garden for Kids of All Ages
  • A Garden to Delight Your Senses

Some easy and yummy-sounding recipes included too:
  • Strawberry Sorbet
  • Ratatouille (aka Summer in a Jar)
  • Elderflower Champagne (a fun story to go with that one)
  • Blueberry Sauce

Each project gives detailed information for: suggested plants, planting and care instructions, fun facts, large colorful photos and many helpful tips to get your own gardening adventure in full bloom. And in a highly entertaining and readable way.

By next spring/summer, I definitely hope to be getting "down and dirty" in my own special garden patch again.It is something I have been thinking and dreaming about for too long already. And when I do, this book will be the gardening guide I will have, close at hand.

The only problem I can foresee is making a decision what to start with. I find the majority of these projects very appealing so it's going to be tough to narrow it down to 2-3 to begin with. But it will be a whole lotta of fun, that I am sure of!

Overall rating for this book: Excellent. 5 out of 5. 

(or should I say: 5 Green Thumbs UP!)


  1. This sounds like an interesting, helpful and fun book. I would have liked to have a book like this to refer to when I had a garden. I love the idea of a garden which would glow in the dark.

    We do some gardening at the daycare center where I work, so I think this could be a helpful resource for us.


  2. Now I want to read this book. Sounds very user-friendly and interesting. I do like gardening but I could learn more too.

  3. Hi Brenda, There is something for everyone in this book, including lots of ideas for kids. It is such a visually appealing book too.

    Hi Joe, It's a great book to expand your gardening knowledge and in a fun way.

    Hi SandyL, I know you'd like this one Sandy even though you are already a seasoned gardener!

    I got a lovely thank you email from the author. Ellen suggests that A Garden of Feline Friends would be a good choice to start with, given the handsome Mr. Cheddar in the family! And more felines to come I might add. ;<)

    Happy Wednesday, G

  4. You are fast becoming one of my top 3 favourites blogs lol every winter, yearning for the sun, I plan all kinds of thing, but hey I'm fooling myself I'll only take photos of other people's gardens ah we are what we are!


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