As many of you know, I am a published novelist. Cedar Fort Books has been good to me and I've made some good friends among the authors. So when I put out a notice that I would be willing to review books by people from my publisher, I got a bunch of responses. We'll get to those later, but one of the requests was for a gardening book, Powerful Perennials.
I admit that I am not a gardener. I have a succulent named Janet and last year, I killed my roommate's bell pepper plant by accident. My roommate, meanwhile, has a complicated system of starter pots and seedlings and a kind of mini-greenhouse sitting on our kitchen table until the plants are ready to go in the ground. But I'm interested in learning and that's one of the reasons that I took an interest in that request. (Plus, the author shares a name with my favorite aunt.)
Nedra Secrist doesn't just give you the kind of advice that you find on the back of a seed packet or the side of a houseplant container. I was relieved by the tone of the book as soon as I read the prologue and found that she had experience instructing gardeners from those who do it for stress relief to those improving their health. She knows what it's like to try to make an Eden out of a desert and has practical advice that isn't Greek to me. (Though, given my background in classics, Greek might have helped.)
I plan to pull this book out again when it comes for next year's efforts. I might just request a corner of our garden to be my personal lab.