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I'm in total agreement with you. I'm done with the 'look down your nose, pinky out' kind of gardening. plant what you enjoy...just get out there! Great blog, by the way.

Okay, that does it. I'm ordering a copy for myself right now!

I always admired that woman. She was someone you could look up to. Not worried about what people thought about her, garish, loud, hilarious, and brilliant.

Thanks for bringing her back!

Wonderful article. Dead on about most garden writing and how sterile it is. People forget this is an activity people do for fun, not a project in grad school.

I wish we could seperate the trade school writing of the horticulural industry (loads of science and technobabble and dry as a bone - but necessary) from garden writing which is more about people and there individualistic stab at fun.

The first Mrs. Greenthumb book has the BEST discussion of color in the garden I've ever read. Unlike the usual numbing blahblah about the color wheel, Cassandra actually explains what it means, and how it translates to plants.

My favorite essay, though, is about "saving" money in the garden (which goes from buying a plant and saving the equivalent of a fastfood meal to buying so much she saves the equivalent of week in Paris. I love how she thinks!) I really miss her.

Oh, almost forgot. Mrs Greenthumb was also very frugal. She gave great tips for saving money, often by dividing and propagating. She knew a garden takes time.

Reminds me of the original Vegetarian Epicure cookbook when author Anna Thomas talked about going back to eat more after smoking pot as part of Thanksgiving dinner. She did it more elegantly but it was such a shot of reality (late 60s here) that you read it open-mouthed!

Agree, and I'll put Mrs. G on my reading list. And ditto to Gail Collins, whom I'd dearly love to meet.

Oh goodness. I had not realized that she had died...having stopped watching those tv shows years ago. But every time I saw her I loved her Schtick...excellent info/advice/wisdom dished out with a massive dose of silliness that we need.

She was a true original. One-of-a-kind. And I dare say, a genius.

Thanks! This looks like my kind of gardening book.

Thanks for the post. I am hereby reminded to stop covering up the sweat on my glistening torso with ratty T-shirts...

Lovely Appreciation - Thanks, Michelle!

MayDreams Carol never got around to assigning Mrs Greenthumbs for the Garden Bloggers Book Club, but perhaps it wasn't necessary. Many of us bought the first book in the mid-90's, read it, and immediately bought a copy to give a friend. Like you, I was a fan of the books - only caught her on TV once or twice, but enough to know that voice may have been an asset to her stint a Second City Comedy group.

Cassandra Danz would have been 62 on New Years Day - and as we do with all of our favorite authors, we like to imagine she'd have a garden blog if she were alive today.

Just typing 'Helen Traubel' makes me smile.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

I LOVED Mrs. Greenthumbs! She was such fun. I had never been able to find her first book but perhaps I'll give Amazon a try.

Now that's some Botany of Desire!

I never even heard of Mrs Greenthumbs, but she sounds like my kind of woman.
I know what you mean about garden design books, I often do not understand the advice they give and I AM a garden designer (but I like the pretty pictures).

Try -- co-op of used-book sellers. They have a bigger inventory.

I've never heard of Mrs. Greenthumbs, but the quotes you included have sold me on her book, for the humor value alone.

Cool! I want one. Better get it before they are all gone!

I agree re: the boring gardening stuff. I love my current blog writing because I get to inject personality and personal failure. (Just what I like to share with the world!) It is more authentic. I am sick to death of writing the same old boring thing all of the time. Why I stick mostly to online content and not print. I don't like my posts to sound like a Treasury Department memo. (Though we have something in common: neither of us have any money right now.)

My favorite Mrs. Greenthumbs quote, from her first book: "The difference between gardening and housework is that when you dust, the furniture doesn't grow and the kitchen floor doesn't bloom." It's posted on my fridge so when people come over they know why the house isn't spotless. Priorities, people.

I loved Mrs. Greenthumbs, and I was devastated when I heard a couple of years ago that she had died. I never watch TV so I knew her only through her books, and loved her casually sensible advice and her humour. It was from her that I learned to use the lasagne method of clearing a patch of ground, and I remember her saying that if you lay down the newspaper and mulch and wait a couple of months, you will find the ground beneath "as rich and smooth as Rockefeller's baby" -- tickled me a lot, and it's true too.

I was just thinking about Mrs. Greenthumbs the other day,I remember I cried when she died, and here you have honoured her unique and passionate contribution. She made me feel okay gardening in my skirt and workboots, love that look!

It was a happy day when I saw the first Mrs. Greenthumbs book on an end cap at the bookstore and bought it on impulse. It is an good read, and re-read. I should have made it a selection of the Garden Bloggers' Book Club!

I love Mrs. Greenthumbs! I like to loan my copies of her books to friends who don't know much about gardening but want to start, because she makes gardening sound like fun instead of a chore, and her instructions are easy to understand. And I read them myself every winter when I'm dreaming of summer and want something to smile about.

I am ordering this book! This woman is a gal with my own quirky mindset. Totally love it!

Gardening is something to embrace, not because of the plants, not because of the clear blue sky, and not because of the worms between my toes - - it's about the people you meet which build the best experiences in life. Gardening has brought those to me for sure!

Best wishes Rant!

Shawna Coronado

I loved Mrs Greenthumbs and miss her irreverence and garden passion! I loved watching her befuddle Regis and Kathi Lee! She was quick witted and way ahead of them!


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