“Be forewarned that this book honors people like the woman in my hometown who paints the numbers of her favorite NASCAR drivers on her elephant ears, and a Tokyo gardener with over a hundred bonsai plants. ” So says renowned garden journalist Felder Rushing in his new book Maverick Gardeners: Dr. Dirt and Other Determined Independent Gardeners. In this book, Felder delves deeply into the psychology of what motivates and sustains the Keepers of the Garden Flame.
For thousands of years, a loosely connected web of unique, nontraditional gardeners has bonded people across race, culture, language, and other social conventions through sharing unique plants and stories. Found in nearly every neighborhood worldwide, these “determined independent gardeners” (DIGrs) are typically nonjoiners who garden simply and exuberantly, eschewing customary horticultural standards in their amateur pursuits of personal bliss.
Included in Maverick Gardeners are classic “passalong plant” lists, a dollop of how-to, numerous color photographs, and thought-provoking essays on quintessential tools, sharing with others, getting away with wildflowers in suburbia, and organizing a plant swap. The centerpiece of this unique gardening journey is the no-holds-barred story of a ten-year cross-cultural collaboration between the horticulturist author and a flamboyant rebellious gardener who called himself Dirt. Through swapping plants and garden lore—and rubbing shoulders with fellow DIGrs—they unraveled their shared humanity. From the practical to the inspiring, Maverick Gardeners is the perfect book for those nonconformist souls who see no sense in trying to fit in and follow the footpaths of others.