The 20-30 Something Garden Guide


Though I do not believe a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed.  Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.

Henry David Thoreau



There have been a number of wonderful new garden books coming out lately, and the bonus is I know many of the authors.  The book I am reviewing this month is from another well respected garden blogger with many credits to her name.  When I first heard that Dee Nash was writing a garden book, I knew I couldn’t wait to read it.  Then I won a signed copy, and I was chiles waiting to be roasted

I was a bit perplexed by the title, but my confusion was soon lifted once I read the introduction.  Dee wrote the book for 20 to 30 something-year olds to help them see they too can garden and manage it all.  I wish I had a book aimed at beginning gardening when I first started.

Dee also started a new blog as an extension of the book, and to keep the garden guide going.  I have enjoyed reading all the helpful posts so far.  Even if you are not a beginner, you will find loads of great gardening information on this blog, and in this book.

All the pictures in this post are of veggies I have grown in my garden over the last 3 years.  Roll your cursor over the picture to see what they are.



The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff





Author:   Dee Nash

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher:   St. Lynn’s Press (February 15, 2014)

Amazon Price: $13.82




In A Few Words

Dee divides the book in a very interesting way. She starts with the basics; a garden glossary and a garden toolbox.  Perfect for garlic scapesbeginners or so I thought until I saw the first few tools she listed; a five gallon bucket and bucket caddy.  Yes I immediately hit my hand to my forehead and said, ” I could have been doing this all along.”  How simple to carry everything around the bucket in a caddy and put the weeds and trimmings in the bucket.  I have the bucket and bought the caddy.

Dee lays out 3 main gardens in the book:  Small Space Gardening with Containers; Edible, Ornamental Garden in Your Front and Backyard and A Garden to Delight the Senses.  I actually veg garden in both containers and in raised beds so I was glad to see she addressed both.  And gardening for the senses is a perfect way to address growing flowers and veggies in creative ways.

In each garden type, Dee first addresses how to get started with plans and layouts.  She then provides tips, ideas and ways to garden in many seasons; and how to extend the growing season and add new features, plants and ideas in the next couple of growing years.

The book is mostly about vegetable gardening, but Dee does get into topics that can be used in all areas of gardening.   As she says:

“…gardening is more about the process than the results.”





What I Liked

In this book, Dee gives you everything you need to get started.  And she punctuates it with incredible images and colorful blueprints to give you step-by-step guides for both the novice and seasoned gardener.  There are too many great ideas in this book to go into them all so I will give you some highlights from each of the three gardens:

radishesGarden 1-Containers (Balcony, Deck, Patio):  Dee cautions to start small.  Wise advice.  Containers need to be deep enough and Dee goes through how each different material, containers are made from, will affect your plants.  I love how she goes through how to read a seed packet and best ways to water.  Dee also goes into how to start plants from seed, how to build your own seed growing station, soil and fertilizers, good and bad bugs, hybrids vs. heirlooms and how to manage garden pests organically.   She also gives great advice for growing small fruit and dwarf fruit trees.

After getting your feet wet with veg gardening in containers, Dee talks about Garden 2-Garden Beds.  Where to plant, how to choose your site, making and choosing materials for raised beds, herb gardens, flowers in the veg garden, size of the garden, style of garden, paths and use of fabric in the garden.  I use row cloths to protect against spring and fall frosts to extend my growing season.  I also liked how Dee explained about Determinate and Indeterminate tomatoes.  I learned the hard way when my tomatoes suddenly stopped producing. She also gives her picks for veggies that overwinter easily and she tells us not to forget unique varieties of veggies to try.  My favorite part of veg gardening are those unique varieties I try each year.  And she ends this section with how to deal with critter thieves.pea blossoms

The bonus for me after all this wonderful information was the last Garden 3-Garden of the Senses.  Especially this year, this garden type is very important to me.  Dee’s list of touchable plants and sweetly scented flowers is a great way to add more flowers to my list.  Dee gets more in depth with paths, garden art and soil.  One of my favorite parts is when she pleads for the spiders who are needed in the garden as well as attracting pollinators and butterflies.  The last section is about community gardening, but it is her 7 Habits of Gardeners Who Care that excited me; keeping it organic, growing natives and conserving water.





Not So Much

small harvestDee crams so much in this book that a seasoned gardener might think this book is only for beginner’s.  But truth be told, we can’t know everything, and we learn so much from each other that anyone at any stage of gardening will learn from this book.





Final Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed Dee’s book.  I actually read it twice, and I keep finding new little tips and tidbits I missed.  This small, adorable book, is one you will want to give it to your children when they are on their own and want to start gardening.  I IMG_5338ordered a copy for my niece and her fiancé who started a raised bed garden last year.  The gardening bug definitely bit them both.

Along with the book and blog, Dee started a Virtual Gardening Club that anyone who grows their own flowers, herbs and food can join.  I hope you will join in.  Grab the badge (shown below and on my sidebar), and leave Dee a comment.

As Dee says, no one is born with a brown or green thumb instead:

“Gardening is a skill learned by trial and error.”

Using Dee’s great wisdom, tips and advice you can be assured that you will develop that green thumb through your gardening experiences.  Take it slow, keep it small, try new things, keep learning and stop and smell the roses and other plants.  All great words of wisdom from Dee, and above all enjoy yourself!




If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.  ~Cicero



Next up on the blog:  Monday I will be profiling a favorite spring native plant.

I am linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.  My most recent post is up already.   Next post is the 27th.

I can also be found blogging once a month at Vision and Verb.  Next post is June 3rd.


I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

18 Replies to “The 20-30 Something Garden Guide”

  1. Great review as usual Donna; young people need all the help they can get to feel that they can be a gardener. The joy of growing something is hard to describe to anyone who hasn’t done it. Christina

    1. I totally agree so it was great to capitalize on my niece’s new love of gardening….glad you enjoyed the review Christina!! Oh and my niece’s name is also Christina 🙂

  2. Oh my god, I love that quote from Cicero. I know the ancient Romans valued their lives in the country when they weren’t governing from The Forum. That line is a keeper. Thank you for the really interesting book review. I also felt that the photos in this post were so gorgeous…they just drew me right in to the preciousness of the young plants on their way. I could practically smell the tomatoes! Wonderful Donna.

  3. Hi Donna,

    This is one of the most thorough and best reviews that’s been published about my little book. Thank you. I agree that there was so much crammed into The 20-30 Something Garden Guide. Believe it or not, we had to cut quite a few things from the final draft. We also made the font smaller so we could include as much as possible. I’m so happy that you liked my plea for spiders and the 7 habits of gardeners who care sections. Those are my favorites also. Thank you for taking the time to really think through my book’s process. I can’t thank you enough. Thanks also for buying a copy for your niece and her fiancé. I’m finding a lot of people are doing that especially after my talks. As for the blog and badge, yes, please everyone join the club. Even if you don’t blog, you can simply comment on that page, I’ll add your name to our virtual garden club. We just want to get people talking even more about their gardens, and I have several friends on FB who have joined and share their thoughts there. Thank you again Donna.~~Dee

    1. Oh Dee I am so glad you enjoyed my review as much as I enjoyed your book. I can believe you had to cut stuff out, but you found great ways to get so much in it. Maybe some of what you had to cut will end up in your next book. I will be attempting soon to upload some reviews to Amazon and I will make sure I get yours in there too.

  4. A very nice review Donna. Sounds like a great book for young gardeners of all ages! I love that last quote by Cicero too. 😉

  5. With veggie gardening making a comeback, this book is perfect for those starting out. I agree that even seasoned gardeners can learn from another’s suggestions or find a different way of doing something.
    Great review Donna.

  6. This sounds a very helpful book, there are so many now that are lots of distracting glossy photos, but not so much on the actual information!

  7. Hi Donna, The book sounds great, and it’s good to be introduced to Dee and her blog. I’d buy it for my daughter, but it may not be so relevant to conditions in the southern hemisphere.

  8. Dee is a wonderful writer, and a very nice person too. I find she is down to earth in person and her writing, even making things not so apparently simple, easy to understand. I bet her book is great. I will have to get a copy.

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