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"In this profoundly moving memoir, Owita teaches Wall how to find grace amid heartbreak and to accept that beauty exists because it is fleeting - as in her garden, as in life." - People, 4 stars

"A perfect spring awakening." - Good Housekeeping

A true story of a unique friendship between two people who had nothing - and ultimately everything - in common.


Carol Wall, a white woman living in a lily-white neighborhood in Middle America, was at a crossroads in her life. Her children were grown; she had successfully overcome illness; her beloved parents were getting older. One day she notices a dark-skinned African man tending her neighbor's yard. His name is Giles Owita. He bags groceries at the supermarket. He comes from Kenya. And he's very good at gardening.

Before long Giles is transforming not only Carol's yard, but her life. Though they are seemingly quite different, a caring bond grows between them. But they both hold long-buried secrets that, when revealed, will cement their friendship forever.



About the Author

Carol Wall

Best known for her groundbreaking memoir, Mister Owita's Guide to Gardening: How I learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart, Carol F. Wall (1951 - 2014) was also an accomplished teacher and public speaker. Beginning in 1973, with her first teaching job at East High School in Nashville, TN (Oprah Winfrey's alma mater) , Carol became famous for her ability to reach even the most reluctant student, and for her storytelling talents. Whether describing the culinary exploits of her husband (a "binge cooker") or detailing the day her beagle Rhudy was banished from an exclusive spa for dogs, she brought wit and liveliness to ordinary subjects. Later, as Writer-in-Residence for Roanoke County Schools, Carol's high school audiences looked forward to her entertaining and engaging presentations. A graduate of Peabody College for Teachers at Vanderbilt University, her articles and essays on family life were popular features in such publications as Southern Living magazine and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2014, just nine months after Mister Owita's Guide To Gardening was published to critical acclaim, Carol died from complications from breast cancer. She is survived by her husband, three grown children, three beautiful granddaughters, and two grandsons - all of whom, in accordance with her wishes, are carrying on the message of her book, speaking to readers and groups across the country. In tribute to his mother, Carol's youngest son, the filmmaker Phil Wall, joined his father on a book tour in 2015, shooting footage for The Ground In Winter, an upcoming documentary about Carol and her work. Upon the publication of her memoir in 2014, Carol's book was named one of the top 10 books of the year by USA Today, and then cited as one of the best books of 2014 by AARP, and acclaimed by Oprah as a "book that every joy-seeking woman should read. "



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