Amy Stewart had a simple dream. She wanted a garden.
When she and her husband finished graduate school, they headed west to Santa Cruz, California. With little money in their pockets, they found a modest seaside cottage with a small backyard. It wasn’t much—a twelve-hundred-square-foot patch of land with a couple of fruit trees and a lot of dirt—but it was a good place to start.
From the Ground Up is Stewart's chronicle of the seedlings and weeds, cats and compost, worms and watering that transform a tiny plot of earth into a glorious garden. From planting the seeds her great-grandmother sends to battling snails, gophers, and aphids, Stewart takes us on a tour of her coastal garden and shares the lessons she's learned the hard way. In the process, she brings her California beach town to life—complete with harbor seals, monarch butterfly migrations, and an old-fashioned, seaside amusement park just down the street.
Delighting in triumphs and confessing to a multitude of gardening sins, Stewart dishes the dirt for both the novice and experienced gardener. With helpful tips in each chapter, From the Ground Up tells the story of a young woman’s determination to create a garden in which the plants struggle to live up to the gardener’s vision