Livia is a nice little suburb in the upper Midwest--but behind the manicured lawns and pristine hedges seethes a ruthless desire to be the greatest green thumb of all. . .
George and Nan Fremont have created a paradise in their backyard, complete with semi-hallucinogenic exotics and a comfy spot for drinking their favorite merlot. Marta Poppendauber's garden is as pleasantly haphazard as she is. And Dr. Phyllis Sproot, Livia's self-styled and cantankerous gardening expert, has determined the exact formula for the only correct garden possible.
But once Burdick's Plant World announces the garden contest to end them all, none of the gardeners of Livia can afford to live and let live. The Fremonts have almost gardened themselves into bankruptcy. Marta is the victim of black tea blackmail. And Dr. Sproot is turning into a horticultural megalomaniac of the worst kind.
The gardeners of Livia are digging up trouble with every turn of the spade, but if they can make it through the summer, who knows what might bloom?