JoAnn Moser, the Considerate Builder
by Cathy Rush
Garden Builder by JoAnn Moser (Cool Springs Press) is a good book of almost 200 pages of very helpful photos, directions, illustrations, and material lists to complete 35 projects for a home garden.
The instructions and wonderful step-by-step color photos, along with 3-D illustrations, make a building project fun and easy to complete. If you think “outside the box,” many of these projects can be adapted to fit your own home garden and personal preference. Little extra pieces of information and advice along the way help make your building experience more enjoyable with these projects or any of your own.
It is a good book of garden projects from simple to more complex to try in your home garden.
When Cool Springs Press struck a deal with JoAnn Moser in January 2019 to provide a finished manuscript by the end of August, just eight months away, she began planning the book. Life in a Minnesota winter without a heated workshop didn’t deter Ms. Moser. She waited till March, got out her saw and began to build, photograph and write – with a little help from her husband, Nick, both Do It Yourselfers.
The Moser garage is full of hardcore wood-working tools, but don’t let that intimidate you. You don’t need a table saw or other fancy equipment. Ms. Moser made sure of that. “I designed these projects so anybody with rudimentary skills can do them. I wanted to make sure that fancy tools are not necessary.”
A few favorites: a “standup cabinet greenhouse type thing” built to help fulfill her dream of a greenhouse surrounding her house. The project will allow you to tuck in little plants to keep them safe and sound from the elements, she says. Another fave: a two-tiered firewood holder for the yard. All projects are for the outdoors, except for a couple like an herb drying rack and a self-contained grow box with lighting that collapses and fits under the bed when not in use.
Moser had good role models. “My dad was a DIY. He was ingenious how he figured out projects. My mom was a sewer and a canner. For them, gardening was something they grew up with and they had to do it. My mom was never too shy to try some new DYI. She was adventurous.”
Another fave: a critter-proof garden to keep the neighborhood large deer population out. It consists of raised beds and fencing with doors. (We could all use this, couldn’t we?) “I didn’t want something overly huge. it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It really works, keeping pests out.”
Says Moser: “I loved writing this book. I loved all the projects. Even if you are not a vegetable gardener, there are things for the flower garden too - things to make the yard pretty. It’s a nice variety – something for every gardener.”
Do your favorite gardener a favor: buy her this book. At good bookstores everywhere.
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published October 25, 2019