George and Nan Fremont have created a paradise in their backyard, complete with semi-hallucinogenic exotics and a comfy spot for drinking their favorite merlot.Read more...
George and Nan Fremont have created a paradise in their backyard, complete with semi-hallucinogenic exotics and a comfy spot for drinking their favorite merlot. Marta Poppendauber's garden is as pleasantly haphazard as she is. And Dr. Phyllis Sproot, Livia's self-styled and cantankerous gardening expert, has determined the exact formula for the only correct garden possible.
But once Burdick's Plant World announces the garden contest to end them all, none of the gardeners of Livia can afford to live and let live. The Fremonts have almost gardened themselves into bankruptcy. Marta is the victim of black tea blackmail. And Dr. Sproot is turning into a horticultural megalomaniac of the worst kind.
The gardeners of Livia are digging up trouble with every turn of the spade, but if they can make it through the summer, who knows what might bloom?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-10-06
- Reviewer: Staff
In Draper’s harvest of darkly hilarious mishaps, obsessive garden enthusiasts who rally for botanical superiority plant seeds of deception. The green thumbs of ineffectual gardener Marta Poppendauber, domineering plant expert Dr. Phyllis Sproot, and odd couple George and Nan Fremont twitch over “Burdick’s Best Yard Contest,” spurring a cutthroat competition in the sleepy Midwestern town of Livia. Phyllis blackmails childish Marta into infiltrating the Fremonts’ Eden, for which they have forsaken even their children. As competition squashes decency, marriages and innocent tulips alike are threatened. Are these gardeners suffering from the spells of Edith Merton, the dread Garden Witch, or are the Fremonts’ hallucinogenic Angel’s Trumpets to blame? Metaphors abound in a clever fable that never takes itself too seriously. Characters’ personalities are reflected by their botanical creations. The Fremonts’ elegant paradise resonates with overindulgence, Marta’s haphazard garden shares her disorganization, and Phyllis’s blooms wilt beneath rigidity. Readers looking for a quick, witty read will enjoy the thorns in this prickly arrangement. (Dec.)