Getting Your Hands Dirty For Beginners – Backyard Gardener by Kelly Orzel

March 30, 2017 Advanced Readers Copy, Book Reviews 2

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Getting Your Hands Dirty For Beginners – Backyard Gardener by Kelly OrzelThe Backyard Gardener: Simple, Easy, and Beautiful Gardening with Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers by Kelly Orzel
Published by Lyons Press on April 1st 2017
Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories
Pages: 256
Source: Author
One StarOne StarHalf a Star

A beautiful and simple guide to edible gardening The "garden to table" movement is inspiring another generation of gardeners but many of them have questions. How important is composting? Is seed saving really worth it? Focusing on sustainable, organic growing practices and plants, The Backyard Gardener is a comprehensive handbook that will help get them started. Kelly Orzel covers everything from soil selection to growing and harvesting. Sidebars such as "garden center survival tips" offer useful advice to help readers build their confidence and know-how. This guide also features photographs of beautiful plant bed designs, propagation techniques, and much more.



This book is called Simple, easy, and beautiful gardening and sadly I could not agree with any of that. Well, maybe with the exception of the beautiful.

First of all, I was ecstatic to get this. I recently moved into a home with a huge backyard. I have four dogs that were squished for seven years into a tiny yard and they are loving life! This yard is so large that I will be able to let them play while I can also have my own space for gardening. That is, if I can figure out how to garden. It seems to be a task that is quite beyond my skill. Recently I can barely keep anything alive, much less a full garden, but I’m jumping in with both feet to see how it goes, hence getting this book off of Netgalley.

Sadly, the author immediately talks compost. But not a how to compost but just that a gardener needs compost. I know very little about compost or how to make it or when to use it. Already frustrated I tried to continue reading but by chapter three my chest was hurting I was so anxious about all the work.

It’s almost as if the author expects people to understand what she’s talking about. In all honesty she may have been speaking a different language, the gardening language, for all that I could understand. I know a few things but I was only able to pick out maybe one or two things that I could hold onto in every chapter. I continued reading even though I don’t think this book is for me, or for any beginner, to see if there was anything I could glean from this.

It wasn’t until the very end where she talked about when to plant that I got any information that I really needed.

What I think I would have preferred, especially as a beginner, was for the book to be turned around. I get why she started with compost but I immediately felt out of my depth and completely stressed. Instead of this feeling like a zen moment, which she said gardening was like, I felt tortured and expected to do things that were way beyond my capabilities.

Had she eased me into the idea of gardening then I think it would have gone better. Then again, maybe not, as I am completely new and need something like KISS to get me started.

I do like the idea of having this book handy, so I will probably buy it and look at her valuable expertise when I feel I can understand it a bit more. For now though, it will have to sit on my shelf while I go get my hands dirty.

Rating Report
3 / 5
Writing Style
2 / 5
Personal enjoyment
2 / 5
5 / 5
Overall: 3 / 5










One StarOne StarHalf a Star

2 Responses to “Getting Your Hands Dirty For Beginners – Backyard Gardener by Kelly Orzel”

  1. Lucy

    A temporary community garden will take over the gravel lot, offering local residents and businesses a chance to grow food and flowers in one of more than 100 garden beds.

    • Christina

      I would love that here! We have so much room that is taken by closed businesses. Doing something like that would be marvelous.