As per her websites and various personae, Amanda's new book is called Kiss My Aster. Originally, the promo materials called it an Interactive Guide, but my own copy says 'A graphic Guide'. Anyway, this is a book for all levels of gardeners, from the very beginning purple-thumbed to the hardcore type like me, who has lots of experience but also knows there is always something more to learn. In this, Amanda delivers in spadefuls.
Gardening can be complicated, especially if you're starting from scratch in a new yard in a subdivision that may frown on dandelions or clotheslines or veggies in the front yard. Don't know what zone you're in? Don't know how to plant a tree or a shrub? Have no idea where to start in creating your perfect yard? Don't panic! Amanda demystifies everything from planning a garden bed to understanding soil acidity to what to plant in a sunny site. She does it with humour, charm, no small number of puns and commentary, and yet is no-nonsense in her opinions.
In this information-laden age, we all think we have to be experts on everything we do, cranking out perfect children, living in exquisitely designed and decorated homes with perfectly well behaved plants in our yards. Well, if that's your vision but you don't have 25 hour days, or if you still aren't sure about how to start a garden from scratch, it's okay, and more than okay, to ask for and hire help. Amanda explains the difference between professional gardeners and landscape coaches (the latter knows their stuff but doesn't do installations, for example), and gives you various options to follow. That's where you get interactive: if you select A, you flip to X page and follow the advice and ideas there; if you select B, you go to another page of solutions and ideas. The main thing is, to encourage you to bloom where you're planted, however you want to (sort of fits in with my screed in the previous post, though for obvious reasons, I refuse to colour the gnome in her book.)