Startle Garden – Review & Giveaway

Today I am super excited to present a new garden book, “Startle Garden” by my friend, Carole West, of Garden UP Green. Don’t you just love the title? If you love gardens, then I’m sure you’ve experienced the delight that they bring. I personally would say one of my very favorite things in the whole world, is seeing the growth or change of my garden, day after day. And yes, sometimes I am thrilled at the site of the garden, and that’s a good thing.

The Startle Garden

A wonderful book, startle garden,  for the beginning and experienced gardeners alike.

this post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy 

The Premise

The premise of this book is to create a garden that nourishes your soul and brings you joy. One that startles you with the awe of it’s beauty and goodness. Something you’ve created, with the help of mother nature.  Who doesn’t want that in their life?

The Heart

The center of this book contains all the information you would need to create a beautiful, and rewarding garden. From planning, to planting, maintenance and more. Most of all, Carole describes her tried and true tips, each step of the way, to make the process easy for both the beginner and the experienced gardener.

The Extra Amenities

This book also offers many worksheets, checklists and useful graphics throughout, to help you focus and stay on track. And, you will also find a special unique creative section, called Adding Garden Flair. Here Carole shows you how to make gorgeous stenciled signs, and creative planters to add a little extra pizzazz, and you own personal stamp on your amazing garden space.

Beautiful raised bed of zinnias from the book Startle Garden.


I really love Carole’s voice and easy to follow prompts of this book. She makes me want to get out the power tools and create a few new raised beds this year. After all, you can never have too many startle gardens in your life.

Want it now?
The Startle Garden can be purchased on Amazon and Createspace.

Get one Free:
Enter the giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive a printed copy from Carole, sent directly to their home.

A great gardening guide and workbook for gardeners.

Details on the Giveaway – Ends Feb. 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST

  • No purchase necessary.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
  • Open to residents United States only.
  • Entries must be received by February 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST.
  • One entry per person and/or IP address.
  • Prize includes one copy of The Startle Garden book by Carole West,  retail value of $21 
  • The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • The winner will be selected randomly from eligible entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
  • To enter, leave a comment below with a valid email address.
  • The winner will be notified by email on Monday, February 20, 2017

By entering this giveaway, you agree to the terms and confirm you meet the entry requirements.

Enter the giveaway by answering this question in the comments area below.

Are you new to gardening, or have you been
gardening for a long time?


About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

Affiliate Account Hearth and Vine/Patti Estep is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


  1. I have always wanted a beautiful garden to walk through and admire and gleen the beautiful of it all in my basket each day. My dreams of this garden has only been a dream. The only thing that I have been able to grow has been a Florida Magnolia tree. I think that this was only a fluke of nature. I have tried off and on through the years to grow things,

  2. Terri Phillips says:

    I have been gardening a long time but am always open to new things!

    • Hi Terri,

      Florida is quite different from PA but Carole lives in Texas. Perhaps her book could help you. Also, you may want to check out her site at . She is a super lovely person and I bet would be happy to give you some tips on hot weather gardening. Magnolia trees are gorgeous. We have them here but they are not as pretty as the southern ones. Also, your growing season is so much longer than mine. Heck, I bet you could grow things all year long. I posted a picture of a Plumbago plant that was trained into a tree. It’s a gorgeous blue and one that doesn’t make it through the winter here. You can do it. Start with something small and go from there.
      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

  3. Renee Cannis says:

    I’ve gardened for a long time, but am….by no means….an expert. At 85 I don’t vegetable garden any more, but I DO have to have my flowers. We have to create beauty where ever and anytime we can. A copy of this book would be wonderful.

    • Hi Renee,

      I so agree with you. We do need to create beauty when we can, and nothing does that better than flowers. I don’t grow very many veggies either as flowers are my first love. I do so enjoy the farmers markets and anything that others grow too much of like zucchini or tomatoes at the end of summer.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

  4. Goldie Kauffman says:

    I planted my first garden on my own at age 8. I love flowers and watching them grow! So I guess the answer to the question is a long time!

  5. Marie Wraight says:

    I have been vegetable gardening since my first house in 1979, Landscape gardening ummm, no one would be able to tell….

    • Hi Maria,

      You sound like quite the experienced gardener. Vegetables have their own reward in that we get to enjoy them in cooking too. I’m more of an ornamental girl but I do grow and cook with herbs and am thinking about a few container hybrids this year.
      Have a great week and thanks for stopping by,

  6. Thanks for doing this – so appreciate it. Looks awesome! I’m o ready to get back in the garden, aren’t you?

    • Hi Carole,

      It was my pleasure to review your fine book. And yes, February is the time I really start itching to get into the garden. Usually March brings us some nice weather and I can get out and start pruning and cleaning.

      Have a great week and thanks for stopping by,

  7. I have been gardening for a long time, mostly vegetables, but have always dreamed of a beautiful perineal flower garden where I could pick lovely bouquets for the house. Just not sure what flowers would be suitable.

    • Hi Sandi,

      I’m in the opposite boat. If you know your zone you can search through some online catalogs and find ones that will work for your area. Also, check out what people around you are growing. Those are the best indicators of what works. Zinnas, as you will see in Carole’s book, are super easy to grow just about anywhere and make a great cut flower.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  8. Oh, I’d love to add this book to my collection. I cherish each and every garden, art and home decor book that I have collected over the years.

  9. I’ve been container gardening for quite some time now but I started my first in-ground garden last year and it didn’t produce nearly as well as I had hoped. Apparently there is a lot more out there for me to learn and your review makes this book seem to be the key that I’m missing.

  10. Lynne Bates says:

    I have been gardening for a while but would love to spruce up and redesign what I have in place. I need some new ideas!

  11. Hello and thank you! for a chance to win your book. I have played in the garden in the past, but I don’t call myself an accomplished gardener …yet !

  12. Lisa Weinstein says:

    I am kind of new. Have planted a few gardens, not big ones though. I have moved to the southwest and I will need to do a lot of research to know what I can plant here. It will be a fun planning a new garden.

    • Hi Lisa,

      I bet it will be fun trying new things. One that comes to mind is succulents and they are all the rage. I have a couple that do well here but many that I have tried do not. Carole is from Texas so that’s a little closer to your climate than PA. I think Far Out Flora is a southwest blogger, but I’m not sure. Trying new plants is have the fun, right?
      Good luck in your new home,

  13. Patti O'Shea says:

    Hi. I have been gardening for 25+ years and gardening is truly my happy place! Love to get my hands in dirt with the sunshine on my back! Perennial gardening is my favorite! I also have a small vegetable garden, containers and window boxes. Love to help neighbors and co workers get started in gardening! Could go on and on! Happy planting and look forward to this book!

    • Hi Patti,

      Well, you sound like me and even spell your name the name. Perennials are my favorite too. Maybe we were twins switched at birth or you are my doppleganger. 🙂
      Happy to have you stop by.
      Enjoy your week,

  14. Ann Reynolds says:

    It was in the high 70s yesterday in the piney woods of east Texas; today it will be in the 50s. Here in Texas the seasons are day to day. Yipes!

  15. I love to watch the beginnings of everything in the garden and like you watch in awe as it develops
    Carol’s book sounds fabulous and how lucky you are to have her as a friend
    Good luck to all 🙂

    • Hi Sue,

      Yes, I am so lucky. Carole is a great friend and we met through our blogs.
      I knew there were many people who love the awe of nature as much as I do. How could they not?
      Have a great week and thanks for stopping by,

  16. My fifth grade teacher showed me how to “slip” a geranium and the day it grew roots, I was hooked forever!! I have even branched out a bit, growing plants in aquariums. My house plants thrive on my used aquarium water as I do my weekly aquarium water changes. Thanks for sponsoring the giveaway.

    • Hi Jackie,

      Your work with plants in aquariums sounds fascinating. I would never have thought of that. We have an old turtle aquarium that my daughter still wants even though she doesn’t live here anymore. Maybe it’s time for me to make use of it.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  17. Candy Gates says:

    I am new, compared to many people I know, but have been actively gardening for about 20 years. I have dug, planted, chopped, replanted, re-located, de-sodded, re-sodded and watered every square inch of our yard! Just waiting for spring to spring and this book would give me some new ideas for the large berm that is most of our front yard!

    • Hi Candy,

      Wow, you sound very experienced and have done just about it all, and your new berm idea sound so exciting. Today I noticed some green growth from hyacinths so spring is just around the corner.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  18. Barbara Livdahl says:

    I’ve been gardening for a long time now and it is my favorite thing to do for exercise, creativity, joy!

    • Hi Barbara,

      I here you on the exercise part. Working in the garden hardly feels like you’re doing anything at all, though the next day your muscles and joints may tell you otherwise.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  19. We just moved to a place in the country with 15 acres last year …. put in a garden last year and it was lackluster…. lots of squash and leeks though… hoping to improve and gain confidence this coming year. Would love a copy f this book

    • Hi Jan,

      15 acres is a great piece of property to work with. I know you will find just the right things for your garden. Its just like a house. Taking the time to find the right pieces (the journey)is half the fun.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  20. Roberta Elwell says:

    I LOVE to garden! I have a small area to plant and I try many new things each year. I love container gardening and always have veggies mixed in with my flowers. My project this year is to get more bird feeders out there along with some samples of “out houses” that I found in a book. Can’t wait for spring!

    • Hi Roberta,

      Your property sounds so fun! I want to plant more veggies in with my flowers this year. Just have to figure out a way to keep the critters away. I with you on the spring fever. Can’t get here fast enough.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  21. Dona Michell says:

    I have been gardening for a number of years. I live in a warm climate so I can garden most of the year
    I think spending time in the garden really renews my spirit.

    • Hi Dona,

      Lucky, lucky you! Though I love the change of seasons, heck that’s pretty much all I know, being able to garden almost all year round sounds pretty fabulous. I agree that the garden does wonders for the spirit. It may sound odd to some, but I bet everyone who gardens would agree.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  22. I’ve never been the greatest at gardening. I find it hard to keep things alive in the Texas heat, but I keep trying.

    • Hi Deborah,

      Carole is from Texas. It’s a big state so I’m not sure if there are huge difference when gardening but I bet she has a few tips for you. I always tell everyone to look at your neighbors as see what grows well for them. Usually it’s a good bet that it will grow well for you. Try lavender. It’s a beast in the heat.
      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

  23. Janice Kramer says:

    I am definitely not new to gardening but I am amazed at how much my garden teaches me every single season! I would love this book!

    • Hi Janice,

      You know the old saying, “The more you know the more you realize how little you know.”
      No truer words. Good luck to you and everyone who enters. I wish I could give you all the book.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  24. Andrea Methvin says:

    I have gardened for a long time, but lately have felt stuck. I am looking for new inspiration!

  25. Kathy Chernicky says:

    Coming out of severe depression from 2016 and the longer days and thoughts of gardening is helping so much. Would love to have a bright and shiny new book to look at and dream about.

    • Hi Kathy,

      I’m sorry to hear that you are feeling low. Winter is no help for that but spring can really bring up your spirits. Your in the hat!
      Thanks for stopping by,

  26. Sandi Allen says:

    I have been gardening for along time, but always willing to learn new things and looking for new ideas.

  27. Debbi Saunders says:

    I have just started gardening and really don’t know where to begin! I would Love a copy of Carole’s book! I follow her blog and find it very informative and thoroughly enjoy it.

  28. Yes I have been gardening for years. Since I was a little girl and I love to plant seeds and watch then grow. And I love to learn new things about it and how to do things better. I would love to have your book.

  29. Janet Kynerd says:

    My first husband and I had a huge vegetable garden for years. He cultivated the garden with a tractor, so I have no experience with raised beds. How that I have moved to a city and have a small yard I think I would enjoy that method of gardening. Thanks for all the helpful info on your blog.

    • Hi Janet,

      Raised beds are very popular and I can see why they would work well. I personally do not have any but Carole has me thinking about a nice veggie garden in one now that we have taken down a huge pine tree and have room for one.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  30. HI
    Patti I have been a gardener for as long as I can remember. Every seasons seems to teach new lessons and experiences. I think Carole’s book would be a lovely addition to my collection. I’ve recently embarked on a journey to sell my cut flowers at my farm stand it feels like I’m learning all over again. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book. Best, Kim.

  31. I have been gardening a long time. Although my flowers are pretty I want them to startle someone. Just like this books says!

  32. i always need to learn new things since I work in a nursery/greenhouse. The book looks interesting!

    • Hi Sandy,

      I think I would love to work in a nursery or greenhouse. I keep hinting to buying a small greenhouse for myself but so far haven’t got there. 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by,

  33. Martha Taylor says:

    Gardening began when I was a youngster. My family have always been gardeners and no matter how many years a person gardens, there is always new things to learn. Thank you for the opportunity to have this magazine with even more new ideas. Martha

    • Hi Martha,

      You are so right. I’ve been gardening for a long time and am constantly learning and trying new things. Keeps it interesting and fun.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  34. Dee Johnson says:

    I am still new to gardening. I have been growing herbs for about two years and am hoping to branch out to tomatoes and peppers this year.

  35. I’ve been gardening since I was a child. I love finding new varieties of plants to grow in my garden here in Alaska. I enjoy learning new gardening tips.

  36. Are you new to gardening, or have you been gardening for a long time?

    I have done a lot outside with flowers and shrubs — for nearly 20 years of my adult life. This year I want to try my hand at a vegetable garden. I would love to have “Startle Garden” by Carole West. I looked to order a copy but cannot afford one at this time.

    Thank you

    • Hi Roxanne,

      I’ve been gardening in one way or another for most of my life. A vegetable garden would be a great idea and is something that Carole does well. I’ll be sure to add your name in the random selection at the end of the giveaway.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  37. I’M new to gardening grow herb s so far but would like to learn more would love to win your book.Thanks

  38. After about 20 years I once again have time and opportunity to garden. I’ve just begun planting vegetables and flowers since we moved to FLorida a few months ago. I’d love to see what the book’s recommendations are. I know it would prove very helpful to me.

  39. I am 49 and gardened ever since i was a little girl…but there are so many things to learn and gardens are a joy:)

  40. An expert plant killer here! A dog or cat and I have been about veggie and flower gardens since the late ’50’s, when a beagle and I were hiding in garlic and toppy onions watching Dad disc the main garden with the Massey. The gene was passed on to my children : toddlers pulling up annuals as fast as Mom could plant them, picking ‘magic’ purple beans. Of course, they did not enjoy being recruited to spread mulch or manure, but they developed a love for fresh herbs, berries and garden produce. Fast forward to their first apartment container gardens while I’ve downsized to 2 foot high raised beds in order to help me age in place, and the next care package to kid #2 in the Peace Corps includes a window sill seed starter with peat pellets and seeds of favorite hot peppers.

  41. I’m new to gardening and love veggie gardening. I also have had success with bulbs. Looking forward to spring and getting dirty again.

  42. I have always had a small garden. We have lived on a farm for 2 years now. Last years garden was the biggest I have ever had! This year and every year after, will be bigger and better. I am looking forward to making all sorts of smaller gardens, boxes and raised beds.

  43. I am not new to gardening, and always looking for fresh ideas!

  44. Kathy Chernicky says:

    Thank you so much for the free book!! I am beyond excited about receiving it. We’ve had 70 degree weather the last two days here in VA and the gardening bug is huge for me. I can’t wait to see how I can have my own Startle Garden!!

    • Hi Kathy,

      You info is on it’s way to Carole and you should be receiving your book in the mail shortly.

      I know you will be able to create a wonderful startle garden in no time.
      Thanks for stopping by,


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