home online store what's new contact us


Mike Nowak

Mike Nowak is a writer and award-winning columnist for Chicagoland Gardening Magazine. He is also host of the aptly-named “The Mike Nowak Show,” Sundays from 9 to 11am on Chicago's Progressive Talk, WCPT 820AM and 92.5, 92.7 and 99.9 FM. For a decade before moving to WCPT, he was the host of WGN Radio's “Let's Talk Gardening” and has appeared on WGN-TV Channel 9, CBS 2 Chicago and the DIY Network. In another environment, Mike is a 33-year veteran of the Chicago stage, having received awards for acting, directing and writing. He plays softball and is an awesome potato grower.




Attack of the Killer Asparagus
And Other Lessons Not Learned in the Garden
by Mike Nowak
Illustrated by Allyson Hunter
Foreword by Michael Bryson

Formats: paperback $15.00
Illustrator's edition: $15.00

Mike Nowak's first book deals with the trials and seductions of gardening
. . . and the paranoid fantasies of gardeners. He has been writing his thoroughly off-beat humor column for the back page of Chicagoland Gardening since 2003. He's been called the "Dave Barry of Gardening," but his mind doesn't really work like anyone else's. With titles like "Pathogens on parade" and "Attack of the Killer Asparagus," this book takes you into a dystopian world where invasive plants raid refrigerators and birds are for more terrifying than Alfred Hitchock ever imagined.

"Mike Nowak is one of the smartest, funniest people in the horticulture world today. I never thought that a description of powdery mildew would make me laugh out loud, but that was before I picked up this book. I've loved his radio show for years, and I'm so delighted to see his work in print at last!"
     Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Plants

"Warning: You will learn a fair amount about actual gardening in this book--even the scientific names of plants, for example, but you will also laugh until your throat hurts and you have to lie down."
     Michael Bryson, Director of Sustainability Studies at Roosevelt University
     and author of Visions of the Land

"Mike Nowak is a slapstick Everygardener, taking all our self-delusions, mishaps and confusions and playing them for big laughs."
      Beth Botts, award-winning garden writer for the Chicago Tribune and
     Chicagoland Gardening Magazine

"Okay, this actually IS the funniest book I ever read about gardening. Mike Nowak is a hoot, and his writing is simply delightful. It always surprises you. You never know exactly what direction he's going with something here, and the surprises are too fun....and always way funny."
      Thomas Ogren, author of Allergy-Free Gardening: The Revolutionary Guide to Healthy Landscaping

" I am a page corner “folder-over”. (Hmm, maybe it's “fold-over-er”?) That's how, like a dog, I mark territory I like. And I folded over an awful lot of pages in this book. Not because I was learning anything about gardening (no one, not even Mike Nowak, actually KNOWS anything about gardening), but because so many pages are very funny. Out loud funny."
        Rommy Lopat, The Weedpatch Gazette

Full Reviews

This book is available now!

Just send a check for $15.00 plus $3.50 shipping and handling to
Attack of the Killer Asparagus
Around the Block Press
3512 W. McLean Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

For 2 copies, the price is $30.00 plus $3.50 shipping and handling. For 3 copies, the price is $45.00 plus $5.50 shipping and handling.


Buy with PayPal.

One copy:


Illustrator's Edition


Two copies:


Excerpt from Attack of the Killer Asparagus

President Jimmy Carter once said that life is not fair. I'm not positive, but I don't think he coined that phrase. I'm not positive about this either, but I think he was referring to gardeners. I'll check LexisNexis when I have a spare decade.

The point is that not all gardeners are blessed with perfect growing conditions. (I haven't gone out on a limb here, have I?) Types of soil, water and asphalt paving can all be challenges to the success of our gardens, our personal esteem and hence, our very existence. At least, that's what I tell my therapist.