I’m a writer, plantsman, and lifelong gardener. My first book, Why Grow That When You Can Grow This?: 255 Extraordinary Alternatives to Everyday Problem Plants, was published by Timber Press in 2012. My second book, Growing the Northeast Garden, also published by Timber, in partnership with photographer Kerry Michaels, is out now, as of January 2015. In my everyday, I work as the web manager for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
I’ve produced podcasts for both Fine Gardening and Horticulture magazines, and my features and other written work have appeared in This Old House magazine, Fine Gardening, Leaf Magazine, Coastal Home, and on Houzz.com.
Though I live outside Boston, I grew up in faraway Mississippi, a stone’s throw from New Orleans, the eldest child in a family of cotton farmers, vegetable gardeners, garden clubbers and outdoorsman. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been raised with a reverence for the land passed down generations. I’m also trained as an organic land care professional through the Northeast Organic Farming Association.
You can find me on social media through the links at the bottom of this page.
Now Hear This
I’ve lectured at events from coast to coast and in between, and for audiences of 6 to 600, including the Philadelphia Flower Show, Boston Flower Show, and Northwest Flower & Garden Show in Seattle.
Praise for Why Grow That When You Can Grow This?
“This book will help you solve problems before they start!”
— Steve Aitken, Fine Gardening
“Andrew Keys is the kind of guy you frisk at the gate to make sure he’s not carrying a concealed shovel: insatiable, with a boundless love for all things botanical.”
— Margaret Roach, awaytogarden.com
“In this accessible book, Andrew Keys suggests 255 problem-solving alternatives to plants that, while popular, can be invasive or difficult to cultivate. (Think disease-prone boxwood and weedy burning bush.)”
— Martha Stewart Living
“If there’s one thing that nearly all gardeners have in common, it’s that we try to grow things that we know darn well aren’t suited for our gardens…. Andrew’s book can be a help towards gardening smarter, not harder!”
— Kylee Baumle, Horticulture Magazine
“Keys lends helpful guidance for shaking up the standard fare in a garden with exciting alternatives. Laid out visually to assist the amateur horticulturist and garden designer… This is a lively, helpful guide offering needed redress for the tired garden—and gardener.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Tired of the same-old gardening same-old? Keys offers pithy profiles of creative alternatives to plants that have become all-too-common elements of landscape design… Pull up that pachysandra, and put down some European ginger. Gardeners looking for vibrant inspiration will revel in Keys’ innovative recommendations.”