Best Gardener (2009)

Dave Owens

Do you ever notice that your urge to garden is strongest when you've been out of town? On a recent trip to Los Angeles, we marveled at a friend's ginormous zucchini and lusted after his squash. "If he can do it, so can we!" we told ourselves, only to return home to a brown lawn and dying rosebushes. Even if we did water regularly, Phoenix is still a tough place to garden — but we have new hope since a friend gave us Dave Owens' Extreme Gardening, a book on sale at Whole Foods and designed just for us — desert gardeners.

This guy is a one-man show, a real garden hoe! He's got a line of products (also for sale at Whole Foods) and his Web site offers all sorts of handy tips, everything from buying worms (Oh, no! Do we have to?) to preventing weeds from growing in gravel. (We suppose that's what our lawn qualifies as, at this point.) And just in case, Owens also recommends some good landscapers.

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