Rainy Day Reading: The 20-30 Something Garden Guide & Giveaway.

Surprise! It's raining. Again. Actually, I think it's just misting, but whatever it's doing, it's cold, nasty, and gray. My plans for building my new raised bed for the cutting garden are on hold.

I need some sun therapy. Pronto.

Thankfully, tomorrow is the first day of spring, and I'm pretending that it will be a gorgeous, balmy, sunny day filled with gardening bliss. I've heard a rumor that there might be sun. (Shhh...don't say it aloud. We might scare the sun away with all of our overeager anticipation.)

This morning, I made a quick dash through the drizzle to the chicken coop and greenhouse, and I've yet to warm up. When I came back inside, I wrapped myself in a cocoon of plush blankets and a duvet in an attempt to thaw. I remained there, huddled, reviewing a lovely little book, pretending that I was about to brave gardening chores--and instead, daydreaming about new garden projects.

It's easy to forget how intimidated I used to be by the garden. Perhaps my gardening audacity stems from the many, many mistakes I made when I first began. Planting mint with geraniums in a window box seemed so creative. (You know that didn't end well.) Or perhaps my foray in planting a border along the driveway of my first house--the same day I sprayed Round-Up to kill the Bermuda grass--might win the brainless new gardener award, particularly when I returned to the nursery to complain about my dead plants.

Yes. I did.

Now, after many years and a multitude of mistakes, I've learned quite a bit about gardening.

If only Dee Nash wrote this book a decade earlier! (OK. Maybe TWO decades earlier.)

While I muddled through and learned by my mistakes, killing dozens of plants along the way, today's new gardeners are fortunate. They have a fresh, practical, all-in-one resource to guarantee their gardens' success.

The 20-30 Something Garden Guide is truly A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff. Perfect subtitle, because that's exactly what Dee's book is.

Organized based on three main garden concepts--container gardening, front and/or backyard gardening, and a garden to delight the senses--Dee packs personal experience into her gardening lessons, supported with step-by-step project instructions and lists of resources.

One of the best things I've experienced recently is how excited the Millennial generation is to grow their own organic food. However, many of these people are land-challenged, living in apartments or homes without large yards. Dee begins by addressing the ease of growing edibles in containers, highlighting both the practical issues--siting, soil, container varieties, appropriate plants--as well as design aesthetics, like how to arrange the containers attractively on a balcony or patio, and how to grow more than one season of crops in these containers.

Chapter One is the jumping off point--get your toes wet, friends, let's learn how to plant some food! Next, Dee shows how to extend the new gardener's capabilities. Seed starting, diversifying veggies and herbs, rotating container crops...she covers all the bases. I love her warning: "The danger of seed catalogs." Yep. Been there, done that. So many seeds to love, so little space in the garden. {Sigh.}

Each chapter grows the knowledge of the new gardener. After mastering a great first season of growing, let's add to your repertoire! From learning what N-P-K represents to building a seed-starting station, each new concept or project introduced is designed to instill confidence and knowledge in the gardener.

Raised bed construction. Irrigation. Beneficial insects. Manure tea. Espalier. Sensory gardens. Ornamentals. Design. Each successive chapter includes concise, but specific ideas for growing gardening knowledge and success.

The beauty of The 20-30 Something Garden Guide? All of this information is in one, non-intimidating resource. Personally, my shelves are filled with gardening books. Dee distilled the most important gardening knowledge into a 140-page, graphic-heavy book with a chatty, accessible style. It feels like your big sister is taking you by the hand and helping you learn how to master gardening.

My only complaint? I didn't have this book when I began gardening.

Because tomorrow is the first day of spring, I think we need to celebrate! I'm giving away a "Hooray for Spring" prize pack that includes:

The 20-30 Something Garden Guide.
$25 Gift Certificate to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
Three-Pack of Authentic Haven Brand MooPooTea.

You can enter several ways. Each item below earns you ONE entry per action!

Leave a comment telling me your worst gardening mistake. (No fear--we're all friends here! After all, I admitted to using Round-Up in my youth, and you all know how organic I am now!)

Click on the "Friends & Network" tab, and follow Garden Delights through Networked Blogs.

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Share this post on any social media. (Just come back here to tell me where. Each share counts for an extra entry.)

Please enter by midnight EST on March 25. I'll select a winner randomly from all of the entries on Wednesday, March 26. (Contiguous US only, friends. Sorry.)

Wait--can it be? Is it...possible?

Is that the SUN?!

Must run, friends! Happy almost spring to you!!!