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Slug Tossing

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Oh, my aching muscles...
A Novice Gardener's Adventures in the Pacific Northwest
ISBN 1-57061-044-4, 208 pages
Sasquatch Press, paperback, $16.95.

If you’re looking for a gardening book that isn’t written by garden “experts” and filled with Latin names—that will give you a chuckle, to boot—then you’ll want to read “Slug Tossing.”

“Slug Tossing” is the true and humorous story of Meg DesCamp’s conversion from plant ignoramus to moderately competent gardener. In the early 1990s the author arrived in the center of the gardening world—Portland, Oregon. With her new husband, Kevin, she purchased a home in a “transitional” neighborhood and succumbed to the home and garden improvement craze.

She works her way from being too embarrassed to ask rudimentary questions at the local nursery to mastering the art of perfect, raccoon-free composting, fighting all the way.

She seeds her own patch of lawn, plants bulbs too late, and learns to deal with slugs in her garden by tossing them into the street. (This way, she can avoid the guilt of killing them outright, rationalizing that the birds or the cars will do the dirty work for her.)

At the end of her first gardening season, Meg’s husband appreciatively compliments her: “Thanks for doing all this work. You’re turning into a regular gardener.”

She replies, “Good God, I hope not. I have better things to do with my time.”

Readers will enjoy commiserating with DesCamp in this humorous and charming story of a reluctant gardener, trying to learn the ropes in the “Keeping-up-with-the-Joneses” world of 1990’s gardening.

NWGN archive published June 1998

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