Dr. Dirt and Other Determined Independent Gardeners
A fun and exciting inside look at unique DIGrs across the world
“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.
"Maverick Gardeners is a reflective look at feeling good about oneself while hoeing your own row. This inspirational book takes a look at both the art and humanity of gardening and serves as affirmation, a constant reminder that we all get to choose what beat we march to. "- Greg Grant, coauthor of Heirloom Gardening in the South and The Rose Rustlers
"Felder Rushing may be a mad scientist, but he knows his science and a great deal more. He is visionary, authentic, totally original, and a teacher. If you love plants, eccentric gardeners, and ‘been there, done that’ wisdom, you will greatly enjoy this book. "- Steve Bender, Southern Living's “Grumpy Gardener” and coauthor with Felder Rushing of Passalong Plants
"Felder Rushing, by no means a conventional gardener himself, has just written a book about all those oddball, eccentric, beat-of-their-own-drummers ‘Keepers of the Garden Flame. ’ Maverick Gardeners is an utterly charming ode to the offbeat, I-garden-my-way individualists who plot their own horticultural pathways through life. His tale of his friendship with Mississippi gardener Dr. Dirt, and how it ended, is especially moving. Both Trowels Up for this one!"- Pat Stone, editor, GreenPrints, “The Weeder’s Digest”