Apprentice to a Garden (Paperback)

A New Urban Gardener Goes Wild

By Evelyn J. Hadden, Shari Zimmermann (Illustrator)

Lesslawn Press, 9780981969800, 176pp.

Publication Date: March 9, 2013

List Price: 11.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The Garden that Started It All

Award-winning author and national speaker Evelyn Hadden began gardening as a new homeowner in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Desperate for a daily dose of nature, she gradually transformed her lifeless urban lawn into a lively no-mow paradise.

Apprentice to a Garden chronicles four years of adventures and aha moments in Hadden's first garden, which she fills with hundreds of woody and herbaceous plants; rocks sized from pebble to table-top; and a home-made pergola. As the street recedes from view, flora and fauna become the focus. Garden rooms take shape. That mysterious, gratifying bond between gardener and site evolves.

Part essay and part memoir, this beginner's journey of awe, despair, and hilarity will bring back memories for experienced gardeners wherever they live and will smooth the way for those just starting down their own garden paths. Seasonal chapters chronicle the work and events in the garden, while more philosophical chapters ponder lessons learned there, including "Not All Loves Last," "Beauty is an Opinion," and "Nature Includes Humans."

This updated and illustrated edition includes 19 whimsical line drawings based on old photos of the garden by artist Shari Zimmermann, some updates and additions to the text, as well as several diagrams of the garden, a comprehensive index, and an annotated source list.

About the Author

Evelyn Hadden has authored several books on lawn alternatives, including the Timber Press bestseller Beautiful No-Mow Yards. She founded LessLawn and is a founding member of the national Lawn Reform Coalition. She speaks to groups across North America about creating rewarding landscapes with less or no lawn. Visit for articles and ideas. Shari Zimmermann usually creates art by combining multiple layers of vibrant acrylic paint with scraps of paper images on her mixed media canvases. Eliminating the luxury of color and shading and communicating only with line texture, positive and negative space for this garden memoir was an exhilarating challenge she plans to explore further. You can see more of Shari's art online at SmartThinkingDesign.