What people are saying about Gardening with Confidence®–50 Ways to add style for personal creativity

Posted by on December 10, 2012

Gardening with Confidence® 550 x 550

Thank you for visiting Gardening with Confidence®. I am having a giveaway for a copy of my book
Gardening with Confidence®–50 Ways to add style for personal creativity. The contest ends on Monday, December 24, 2012. Tell me how you garden with confidence. I’m and looking forward to hearing what you do!  Please like my Facebook page Gardening with Confidence® and on twitter at @HelenYoest

P. Allen Smith Foreword

It is always a joy to learn new things and to be reminded again of others. I’m always looking for resources to continue to hone my gardening design skills. Gardening With Confidence accomplishes just that. This book methodically outlines a foundation of best practices starting with the basics and adding to those building blocks to help us develop into the best gardeners that we can be. The confidence gained by understanding how to add design features, while developing our own personal style, will take us and our gardens to that next level.

Gardening with Confidence – 50 Ways To Adding Style For Personal Creativity is a true labor of Helen Yoest’s love of our common pursuit. Helen has outlined 50 ways to add style to express one’s personal creativity in the garden — when in fact her 50 will inspire at least 50 more ideas in us.

The author covers all of the topics that any beginning gardener will want to know about and offers more seasoned gardeners many inspiring ideas. I am taken in by all the themes but particularly by all of the chapters on Garden Styles and Your Garden Environment. I am crazy about moss gardening and all of the wildlife topics that she documents in her book.

In this book, she instills gardening self-assurance with her relaxed and easy, non-prescribed approach. She introduces us to basic concepts and patiently explains them with an informative and gentle voice written with the ease of someone who has garnered a wealth of personal experience over the years making her an ideal guide to lead readers through all of the helpful ideas and concepts giving readers the courage, the confidence and the tools to strike out on their own to develop their very own personal style. Each step is a rewarding journey encouraging us to take that next step, then another and yet another.

Gardening With Confidence provides all of us an overview of garden style  without dictating what it should be. Helen helps readers explore, discover and express what their own style actually is. She helps us through this voyage of self-expression laid out not as a designer would  approach the subject matter – but as an enlightened guide who over the years has worked through the obstacles. It’s obvious that the author has practiced what works and what doesn’t. This experience helps her to communicate on the same level as the reader. Like working through a puzzle with a trusted friend she gives us the gift of gardening success through self-realization.

James Baggett, editor of Country Gardens magazine

Helen Yoest articulates her garden lessons and describes all her practical experience in the most accessible way, writing from the heart based on years of trial and error. Her account of the learning process includes not only the successes and realizations of dreams but also the changes of heart as her garden style evolves. Helen’s Gardening with Confidence invites readers to share in her green-hearted wisdom and the vision of a true garden maker. Helen Yoest is an acknowledged expert on gardening in harmony with nature—and a true friend over the garden gate.
Steve Bender, a.k.a. Grumpy Gardener with Southern Living magazine

Gardening with Helen Yoest is like working with the best teacher you ever had in high school. She speaks clearly. She explains carefully. She meets you at your level of expertise. She instructs from personal experience gained day-after-day in the garden pulling weeds, placing stones, and planting flowers. Her mission is to help you to your first little success, and from the confidence gained from that move on to bigger and better things. Helen isn’t interested in impressing readers with how much she knows. Rather, she’s concerned with readers impressing themselves with how much they can accomplish once they believe they can.

Bobby J. Ward, author of Chlorophyll in His Veins: J. C. Raulston, Horticultural Ambassador

Gardening with Confidence provides an abundance of self-assurance to both the neophyte and the seasoned gardener. It encapsulates everything you ever needed to know–or didn’t know you needed to know–about gardening. The great lesson in Helen Yoest’s book is that there is no right or wrong way to garden. It’s a matter of personal taste, style, and your pocketbook.


David Spain of Moss and Stone Gardens

Whether you want to put your feet up and indulge your senses or put on your gloves and get to work, Helen leads you on a captivating tour of gardening ideas and know-how. Offering practical advice and an inspiring invitation to dream, I especially loved Helen’s willingness to share her misadventures too – all told with her renowned sparkling wit. Her triumphs and trials teach you to not only trust yourself but to embrace the beauty of imperfection and the whimsy that is awaiting you on your very own garden path. Your garden and you will be the better for it.


Suzanne Edney, landscape designer

If you are a gardener or have always wanted to be one, placing this book at your bedside will be a most delightful way to end your day. Open to any chapter that catches your eye and Helen will take your hand and sweep you away into the world of gardening. Helen’s straight forward friendly style captures the reader from the first sentence to the last, reinforcing experienced notions of what makes a good garden while taking out any fears the first time gardener may encounter when contemplating the creation of the garden of their dreams.




Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 9.49.43 AM

If your landscape is looking less than stellar, it could be in need of a makeover, and now is a good time to begin working on the project. Early fall is prime time for planting, so if you do your homework now, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when the fall sales start.

So where do you start? Charging off to the nursery to load up on the latest flowering shrubs is a big mistake — you need to have a plan. A charming little tree can burgeon in time, shading out life-giving sun to flowers and herbs.

Great gardeners are not always good at landscaping. But whether you choose to make it a DIY project or hire a professional, you still need a plan so you end up with a yard and garden that evokes your personality and meets your wants and needs. And I have a perfect place to start.

“Gardening With Confidence: 50 Ways to Add Style for Personal Creativity” by Helen Yoest covers the basics and then goes on to tell you how to create a haven that suits your lifestyle and your inner self, as well as your house.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130809/LIFESTYLE01/308090011#ixzz2bTotoJV9

Southern Living’s Grumpy Gardener

There’s a pernicious rumor going around that gardening is just too hard for the average person. Oh sure, they can paint their floors and bake a gold-leaf cake for the Queen, but plant some herbs? That’s just so hard! Garden coach Helen Yoest thinks this rumor is pure manure. So she’s written a book to prove that anyone can garden successfully. Yes, even you.

Reading Helen’s words in Gardening With Confidence is like working with the best teacher you ever had in high school. She speaks clearly. She explains carefully. She meets you at your level of expertise. She instructs from personal experience gained day-after-day in the garden pulling weeds, placing stones, and planting flowers. Her mission is to help you to your first little success, and from the confidence gained from that move on to bigger and better things. Helen isn’t interested in impressing readers with how much she knows. Rather, she’s concerned with readers impressing themselves with how much they can accomplish once they believe they can.

Grumpy met Helen some years back when she offered to tour him around her home town of Raleigh, North Carolina to see some nice gardens. Naturally, he also wanted to see her own garden, “Helen’s Haven,” that rests in a comfy but spacious back yard smack-dab in the midst of middle-class America. He was impressed.

Clearly, Helen knows not only how to grow lots of plants, but how to combine them to show them off at their best. And this is what Gardening With Confidence will teach you — no matter if you like native plants, herbs, flowers for birds and butterflies, container gardening, gardening without chemicals, or just showing up the next-door neighbors.

Grumpy believes Gardening With Confidence is the perfect Christmas gift for someone who likes plants, but has heard the whispers that “gardening is just so hard.” Repeat after me: It’s Not.Gardening is easy and fun once you get started. You just have to get started.

As seen in Better Homes and Gardens 2012 gift guide for the budget-friendly gardener: Gardening with Confidence

Want your garden to stand out in comparison to your neighbors but not quite sure how to bring that personal touch? Helen Yoest has 50 fresh ideas on how to make your garden complement your personality.

The Rainforest Garden

Helen Yoest’s Gardening with Confidence will help you do exactly what the title promises, giving gardeners permission to be creative in their own gardens without fear of being judged by others. She doesn’t talk down to you when dispensing her invaluable advice, but rather gets you excited about whipping your own landscape into check with projects like planning a garden, planting containers and adding interest with fragrance, water features and structures.

Mike Nowak Radio Show, Chicago

You know you’re doing all right when P. Allen Smith is at the top of your press blurbs on the back cover of your book. By the way, the subtitle is “50 Ways to add style for personal creativity,” and the word “personal” is the key to what Helen is trying to accomplish. Yes, she explains a lot–styles like cottage gardens and formal gardens and rock gardens; elements like color and focal points and fragrance and paths; environmental concerns like critter control and lawns and being smart with water. But it’s all in the framework of what works for you and your particular needs. Lots to learn here.

Garden Writers Association


Helen Yoest drew on her experience as a landscaper designer, garden coach, and world traveler to inspire others to explore, discover, and express their own personal style. 50 Ways is designed to give you insight on the basics of adding and arranging the components of your garden. The confidence you’ll gain in knowing how to add design features, while developing your own personal style, will help you take your garden to the levels seen in the fantastic gardens that inspired you to begin your own work of art.

Gardens Eye View

To say this book is chock full of amazing ideas is an understatement. And Helen’s style is easy going inviting you to take a peak, then spark your curiosity and clearly explain the idea so you will be comfortable enough to give it a try.


Christopher Tidrick, author of From the Soil honored with me with his words:

So many books focus on the “how-to” or the “you should” in gardening. Not this one. In Gardening with Confidence, Helen explores fifty garden concepts (such as color, movement and children in the garden) in a way that allows the reader to understand, but then implores the gardener to apply them to their own sense of style and creativity. Helen shares her personal experiences throughout the chapters, as inspiration not edicts.

Much like a well-written garden book reveals the spirit of the gardener between the lines, gardens announce the spirit of the gardener in every plant and along every path. The central premise of Helen’s book is this: Our gardening success lives and grows when our gardens reflect our own style and personal creativity. She inspires us to bend — and even break — the rules to find our confidence in the garden.

PineStraw, Jim Dodson

Plenty of them [gardening books] cross our desk, but the one that recently caught our fancy is a small but delightfully intimate and useful book Gardening with Confidence®–50 Ways to add style for personal creativity by Raleigh author and gardener Helen Yoest. With a delf command of language and a clear eye from years of experience, Yoest provides valuable insight into determining your garden style and covers pragmatic subjects like design and sustainability, bulbs, herb gardens and foundation plantings, all aimed at building confidence in your gardening efforts. called

Triangle Gardener, Christine Thomson, in part…

Gardening with Confidence® (GWC Press) is an excellent source of inspiration and information to design a space that fulfills your gardening aspirations. Yoest’s book provides information to interest both beginning and experienced gardeners. In a friendly style, she addresses the reader casually, including tales of her own mistakes and successes with gardening.”


Carolina Gardener

Gardening with Confidence:50 Ways to add style for personal creativity, brings insight on the basics of adding garden features to your landscape, from art to hardscaping projects. The book is written to inspire confidence and help you develop your own personal style.


Geri Laufer  wrote some very kind words about my book:

My Raleigh friend Helen Yoest from Garden Writers Association sent me a copy of her new book and I think it has great merit!

Gardening With Confidence– 50 Ways to add style for personal creativity hits all the gardening highlights and offers practical ways to achieve gardening style in accessible, bite-sized pieces. Each essay is a quick study in four pages and Helen’s great color photos help to illustrate her points. Gardening With Confidence summarizes Helen’s practical experience and is presented as an overview of the field, “the exact book a beginning gardener needs” presented as sort of a conversation with a knowledgeable friend over a virtual garden fence.

#Roesechat radio interview

Star News


Helen Yoest, author of the new book “Gardening with Confidence: 50 Ways to Add Style for Personal Creativity” (and its associated blog) lives in Raleigh. She’s a garden coach with years of experience helping homeowners and gardeners learn to, well, garden with confidence. Her new book breaks down gardening and design principles into 50 easily digestible topics.

The best thing about this book is that it wasn’t written by someone sitting at a desk somewhere. Every tip comes from real world experience.


198733_10152125941210015_683492235_n Christina Salwiz writes this review.

As a Garden Coach myself and a fan of Helen Yoest for a number of years, I can with all my heart say that THIS book has earned a coveted spot on a very special book shelf. It’s the book I would want all of MY clients to read too.




Book launch at the JC Raulston Arboretum, November 1, 2012

From facebook:

26 Responses to “What people are saying about Gardening with Confidence®–50 Ways to add style for personal creativity”

  1. Carol Yemola says:

    I turn to books or the internet in order to be confident in my gardening skills. I find that I am a visual learner so the videos on the internet, particularly P. Allen Smith, are extremely helpful.

  2. Gardening with confidence for me just comes from many years of doing and experimenting, studying and learning from others such as yourself. I’d love to win your book! Having visited your lovely garden I bet it has lots of tips (like growing leylands in the shade:). Anyhow, have a great Christmas season!

  3. HelenYoest says:

    Carol, you are right about Allen’s videos, most helpful indeed. Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you good luck. H

  4. HelenYoest says:

    That is so nice of you to say, Tina. I enjoyed the time you visited my garden. Merry Christmas. H.

  5. Lee Coates says:

    I once read on a sugar packet “Experience is recognizing a mistake when you make it”. Learning to Garden with Confidence is gathering as much experience as possible either from trial and error or capturing the wisdom of those who have made the mistakes and are willing to share their successes and failures!

  6. HelenYoest says:

    ooooo I love that; and all from a sugar packet! Thanks for stopping by and the best of luck!

  7. Tootsie says:

    I use a little common sense…a lot of trial and error….and a whole lot of guidance from books and online garden friends!
    I can’t wait to find your book in my area!!!

  8. HelenYoest says:

    Thanks, Tootsie! I’ve got to get working on having it available locally. Just so you know, you can buy it on my on-line retail shop. Shipping is free. Thanks for stopping by. H.

  9. Lara says:

    My garden confidence stems from the theory that every failure is successful if you learn from it. I’ve most recently turned to Twitter to share experiences with fellow gardeners and listening to gardening Podcasts to broaden my green thumb knowledge so that I make better choices. I’m looking forward to finding your book and trying new ideas!

  10. HelenYoest says:

    What’s your twitter name, Lara? I agree with you. Confidence stems from the theory that every failure is successful….if you learn from it.And most of us do. We can’t look at failure as an ending point, but rather a place to start anew. H.

  11. I’m starting over again after moving across Georgia to another growing zone and set of seasons. I’m regaining my confidence as I watch my children play and help in our garden. We don’t have the prettiest garden or the most produce we could, but we have lots of laughs and memories. Those give me confidence to make our garden a place to grow.

  12. Tom Mann says:

    Hi Helen – as you know from your visit here to our semi-organized chaos, we’re working on getting our gardens to the point of requiring less work in them so we can better enjoy our time out in them. It’s a never ending quest, of course, but it does keep us off the streets and out of trouble ;) Thanks for the contest, and good luck, everyone!

  13. HelenYoest says:

    Ha! Tom, yes, y’alls garden is one that I wouldn’t want to leave either. Lily keeps asking when can we go back!

  14. Sue Ellen says:

    I have been gardening for over thirty years, so there have been lots of mistakes! Before the Internet was available to those of us in rural areas, books were where I gained the confidence to keep trying. The winter months are a great time to immerse myself in a new book so I have added yours to my wish list.

  15. HelenYoest says:

    I hope you enjoy the book, Sue Ellen. It sounds like you are beginning a great adventure! H.

  16. Hi Helen!

    To me, gardening with confidence means not being afraid to try new things that pertain to creating a beautiful and beneficial landscape. Thanks to social media and podcasts (yours included) I, personally, have been inspired to give a hand at vermicomposting, creating garden paths with cardboard, newspaper and leaves, growing plants from seed…you get the idea. Gardening with confidence involves knowledge and then putting that knowledge to work in a fun way that will benefit not only yourself, but friends and family. I bet your new book is as amazing an motivational

  17. Woops, I wasn’t finished, lol, Anyways congratulations on your new book Helen!

  18. HelenYoest says:

    Thanks, Nicky! H.

  19. HelenYoest says:

    I like your ways to garden with confidence, Nicky! I have not tried vermicomposting, and hope to one day.Thanks for stopping by.

  20. For me, gardening confidence is summed up by this quote, “My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view”. ~ H. Fred Ale
    Thanks Helen for all you and many others have done to help gardeners, young and old, new and wise, to further their experiences.
    Congratulations and much success on your book and your future journeys!

  21. HelenYoest says:

    Thank you, Evelyn!

  22. Jeavonna Chapman says:

    Thanks for the contest. I personally Garden with Confidence by trying something new every year. Last year was container fruit trees/shrubs. That went very well. Haven’t decided what it will be for 2013. If we get past the Mayan Apocalyse, I’ll have to come up with something.

  23. HelenYoest says:

    Good point, Jeavonna, no reason to worry about it until then. H.

  24. Jeanette says:

    Reading, sharing, experimenting
    builds confidence in my book. I would love to read your book because I enjoy visiting your blog.

  25. HelenYoest says:

    We have a winner! CONGRATULATIONS, TOM MANN, you have won Gardening with Confidence®! H.

  26. […] favorite garden book is Gardening with Confidence ® of course […]

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