{Giveaway} Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You

All the garden book you need is Amanda Thomsens Kiss My Aster

One of the perks of having a modestly popular blog and social media presence is that I get to meet amazing writers and authors.

Among those folks is Amanda Thomsen (a.k.a. @kissmyaster). We met the first year that I was on Twitter–2008. In fact, I think we joined up about the same time.

Recently Amanda created an incredible gardening book, a guide to landscaping for suburbanites  that doesn’t preach or talk down to the reader. I was privileged to “blurb” the book for the publisher last fall. You can buy or win (more on that in a sec) the book and see the short-form of what I wrote in person.

But here’s my full review,* which had to be edited to fit:

Garden writing has been far too uptight for way too long. Which may explain why a lot of young homeowners steer themselves and their pricey iced coffees clear of the garden section on date night at Barnes & Noble.

Hal-o-freakin’-Lou-ya, this volume pokes stodgy ol’ garden bookishness in the eye.

Amanda Thomsen brings her readers not only a irreverent, quirky, and flirty read but also a customizable, user-friendly template to build the yard of their dreams. That’s right. Beneath Thomsen’s witty word play–not to mention the whimsical illustrations by Am I Collective–there’s a solid, pragmatic, and sensible scheme that teaches newbie gardeners how to create (and tend!) an authentic, one-of-a-kind landscape.

The ‘burbs may never be the same.

I wrote that blurb after reviewing a digital copy early last August. Having received a hard copy since–which proved to be even more stunning than the digital copy, I stand by every word in this review. And I’ll also tell you that my septuagenarian mother loved it so much that she bought multiple copies for her friends and family who need a little landscape assistance.

That’s right: My mom endorses you’re getting this book.

And, really, isn’t that all you need to know?

If you’d like a chance to win Amanda’s book–and see for yourself just how fantastic it is, then leave me a comment on this post and tell me WHY you need it.

HURRY! This giveaway has a quick turn-around as it’s winter right now and people need to get cracking on their yards for spring.

Deadline to register: 5pm CST on Thursday, February 28, 2013

To purchase the book, visit your independent bookseller or Amazon.

Blurbs on Amanda Thomsen book

*Don’t get me started on how excited that I was for my blurb to appear  alongside these by Barry Blitt and Andrew Keys.


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  1. I need it more than anyone. My yard is filled with good intentions covered up by weeds and dog poo.

  2. I would love to have this book to be able to use not only for my self but to show my clients, so that they would get a closer look and want to buy it for themselves. Working in LA to get people to take out their lawns isn’t easy, but I’m betting that this book would help a lot. So pretty please, pick me! Thanks!

  3. I definitely need this book! I’ve been not dealing very well with health and life challenges, and I have decided this is the year of the garden, health and positive change. Budget is tight, so I’d love to WIN this book! I am definitely not your run of the mill gardener/lawn person, but need major inspiration. Looks like Amanda’s my girl. Thanks!

  4. I’d like to win this book because I need all the help I can get. I’m a visual learner so this graphic guide to enjoying my yard would be a huge help. And Amanda seems like a really cool lady.

  5. I need this book because I am a great plant grower, but a totally crappy landscaper/gardener. I have over 700 varieties of iris, all planted in rows, sorted by decade of introduction and then alphabetically by name. Practical? You bet. Boring? Zzzzzz…

  6. I would love it win this book, I love all plants and spend all my free time out in my yard when the weather permits, During those colder months I read all the garden books and magazines looking for new ideas. And dreaming for spring!

  7. as an old plantaholic, my yards evolve over the years. if it’s bright, want it, smell good, gotta have it, different, fight you for it! at any rate, need guidance! have had great landscapers quit because don’g do simple, but love simply wonderful. will be slow going this spring with my broken wrist. Would love to have this book.

  8. We bought our first house this last fall and are delighted that we now own our yard! That being said, we know we want to change it up but have no idea how we want to do it. This book would be perfect for us!

  9. I’ve spent nearly 10 years in the same house and each year I promise myself that I’ll start a garden. Just went to the CT Flower & Garden Show – I’m a tad bit intimidated – again! Looking for inspiration on how to turn my old thumb green while maintaining my sense of humor!

  10. I need it because as a single mom who FINALLY got her only son through college I can now pare it down to 1 job instead of two and I need to give this old small town Victorian some curb appeal so I am no longer ashamed to sit on my front porch 😉

  11. I would like to have this book as I have a similar sense
    of humor & would love to see how I can incorporate it into my garden 🙂

  12. If my grandchildren are unable to hit it in the magnet school lottery, I will be home-schooling, & horticulture will be doubling as science, at times. This book would come in *very* handy!

  13. Just bought my house fall of 2011 and I need more fun ideas! Planted some trees and shrubs so far but there is so much more I want to do! Love the emails I get from Annies!

  14. Would love this book to reform my home garden – it needs help! My kids will homeschool next year and, although I started a school garden at their public school, we won’t have access to it anymore.

  15. I would love this book! I actually need it because we have a new house and a blank slate for a yard. Also, I have a black thumb and can kill basil. And basil is hard to kill. Thanks!

  16. When my wife and I got married, she told me I could do anything I wanted to the yard and exterior of the house. I’ve put in a kitchen garden and am now trying to landscape the rest of the yard to make it complement the work already accomplished. Thanks.

  17. Why do I need this book? Oy. We have a 47 year old house that was neglected by the last five owners. The landscaping consists of overgrown brush (that was under power lines, trimmed by the electric company, and thrown back onto the aforementioned brush), hostas (whhhhyyyyyyy?????), and enormous silver maples. Last spring I found a pair of disintegrating men’s boxers behind the garage. We have an unofficial path through the property to the block behind us; to block it we’ve had to let the weeds grow…to nearly six feet tall. Our yard is a disaster. That’s why. LOL!

  18. Would love to have this book to help me learn GOOD garden design vs my current method of shoot from the hip and have to yank it out later.

  19. I really need this book. I have just learned about Kiss My Aster and she is my kind of woman. Hubby and I are trying to improve our gardens every year, but we have made many mistakes, this book would be a huge help to us. So very glad that I was able to get in under the deadline, whew!

  20. I just found the kiss my aster blog and i just gotta have her book because i love her spunk and creativity. I believe it would help me with my backyard here in South Jersey. Please, please pick me. I cant wait to get started. Thanks for the chance!!!

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