Kiss My Aster: Book Review & Giveaway!


Kiss my what?!

From the moment I first pulled this book out of the mailbox I knew I had something special in my hands. The witty title and bright eclectic art work really stand out, but it was the textured cover that bowled me over. Kiss My Aster by Amanda Thomsen is not an ordinary garden & landscaping book. This is a Choose-your-own-adventure for garden design.

Shut the front door!

With such innovative thinking this was promising to be quite the book. However it begged the question, if it was this weird and wonderful on the outside, could it possibly live up to it’s hype on the inside? Then again, *Jazz Hands* are used to emphasize points and there’s a pink unicorn on page 14.

‘Nuff said.

There’s more than a little humor and honesty on the pages of this book. Amanda touts the virtues of Landstalking in the chapter “I always feel like somebody’s watching me” as an easy way to find cool plants that you like with the safety net of knowing that they’ll grow well in your neighborhood. Props are recommended to avoid neighbor’s thinking you’re peculiar while you snap photo’s of their green space. Although if they bust you with an empty stroller there’s no stopping that assumption. The truth will be out.

Kiss My Aster delivers.

Urging readers to “dream big, baby, and get out the crayons.” Amanda encourages accurate measuring, detailed drawings, and more accurate measuring. That might sound complicated, but she breaks down the process into easy to digest steps. Each section leaves the reader with options to help customize their garden plans further, or gives an escape hatch to help find the right professional in “Help! I need somebody.”  The book is riddled with fun and brilliant tips like:

  • When choosing a tree guy, pick someone who loves trees. She recommends looking for someone with a Lorax personality.
  • Use Google Earth print outs to trace the details of of your property to get a more complete overview of your yard. Easy peasy! No skill required.
  • Grow garlic & garlic chives to ward off vampires. Duh!

I found her hiding in her room, folding origami!

I got a real kick out of this book. It is smart and witty and held my interest, and I’m not the only one in my house who thought so. Multiple times on the way to reading this book it was stolen out from under my nose. Upon a thorough search for it, the book was found in my 8 year old daughters room where she sat hunched over it, perfecting the art of folding a “Garden Chore Cootie Catcher.” Although I’m sure she’ll add hearts and boys names to hers instead of garden chores… Sigh.

Yes there’s a ‘color me Gnome’ page, and a chocolate fountain to get the reader enthused about gardening. However make no mistake, this is a book for adults. Humor is adeptly used to drive home important landscaping advice and solve serious problems.

No matter the adventure you choose you will without a doubt enjoy this book. A sense of humor is most certainly required.

Would you like to win your very own copy of Amanda’s new book? Well you’re in luck! Storey Publishing is giving away a copy of Kiss My Aster over on their blog. The contest runs February 18th-24th, with the winner being announce on Monday February 25th. You can enter by heading over to their blog and leaving them a random comment on their post. You can find it HERE.

See what the other Guru’s are saying about this book:

Kiss My Aster

Cowlick Cottage Farm

J Peterson Garden Design

Red Dirt Ramblings

The Year Round Veggie Gardener

Gardener to Farmer

Gossip in the Garden





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