Joy Bossi

Author: Joy Bossi

Connect with the Author Online:Website

Books Published with Cedar Fort:

Joy in Your Garden– March 2010

The Incredible Edible Landscape- April 2012


Joy Bossi, best known for her popular Saturday morning talk show, “Joy in the Garden,” has been teaching and guiding Utah gardeners for over thirty years. With a degree in botany from Brigham Young University, credentials as a Master Gardener, a Certified Nursery Professional, and years of experience working in nursery and landscaping, Joy is highly qualified to offer advice to both gardening novices and experts alike. Her garden consulting business takes her to homes along the Wasatch Front to solve landscaping problems and share design ideas. She is always much in demand for teaching gardening classes, workshops and lecturing for community gatherings, church groups, and local garden clubs. Her first book, Joy in Your Garden, was published in 2010; the second book, The Incredible, Edible Landscape, was released April 10, 2012.Joy first appeared on television doing gardening segments on KUTV and then KSTU. For the past nine years she has been a regular guest on Channel 4’s Good Things Utah. Appearing weekly, she gives timely gardening advice and suggestions to the viewing audience of this upbeat morning talk show. For over eighteen years she has hosted an early morning call-in radio show. The program started on KALL 910 and for the last fifteen years has been carried on KNRS, 570 AM and 105.7 FM, every Saturday from 9 to 11 am. “Joy in the Garden” is a lively potpourri where Joy fields questions on every aspect of lawn, garden and plant care from listeners all along the Wasatch Front. The show is frequently broadcast on remote locations at local gardening events and has gone “on the road” to Delta, Honolulu, Portland, Durango, Pittsburgh and Washington D.C.

Personal History:

Park City, Utah, had a typical snowstorm, laying down three feet of snow on the morning of my birth. Dad had to “break trail” to get my little five foot tall mother into the Miner’s Hospital. My mom had been born in Park City, also, but grandma gave birth to her on the dining room table!

When I was two years old, Dad began attending the Utah Agricultural College, now Utah State University, thanks to the G.I. Bill. Ken E (yes, that is really how they spelled his name), my younger brother, was born in Logan, Utah. After graduating, Dad moved our little family to Salt Lake City to begin his career as a therapist at the VA Hospital.

It wasn’t until late in high school that I realized not everyone had the sweet experience growing up that I had. My mom, an excellent homemaker, was always there for my brother and me. Cookies? She baked them. Skinned knees? She kissed them better. Ball games? She attended every one. Concerts? Our folks were always in the audience.

A nice home, each with our own bedroom, a dog named Trixie, a dad that worked diligently and could fix or make anything, and a mom that made home a heaven on earth “¦ that’s how we grew up. After graduating from high school and attending a year of college at the University of Utah, I joined the LDS Church and continued my education at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

To finance my education, I worked some pretty interesting summer jobs. A group of five other college students and I started the process of getting the documents ready for computer input at the Deseret Test Center. (I was vetted for a Secret Clearance rating for that one!!) I was a file clerk at Hill Air Force Base for two summers: the first summer I routed every tire used in the USAF to somewhere else in the world, and the second summer I was responsible for filling out paperwork to send missile parts around the world. I became Salt Lake City’s first female mailman, compliments of the Civil Rights Act. My final two summers were spent teaching botany lab classes, gathering herbarium specimens, and collecting algae from Utah Lake for a pollution study. Yep, definitely interesting.

After graduating with a secondary teaching certificate and a degree in botany, I married my husband and started our family. I have a son, a daughter and, now, a son-in-law and two sweet grandchildren. My life has certainly taken different turns and, with great fortune, one of the turns brought me back to gardening. I have dearly loved sharing ideas with other gardeners and consider myself to be a gardening cheerleader. I’ve been blessed to teach and share in many different places to many wonderful gardeners and soon-to-be gardeners.

“Is this information in your book?” That was the question asked following nearly every class, workshop, lecture and presentation that I gave for literally years and years. “No!” I would chuckle. “I don’t write, I speak.” Sometimes the question would be, “Have you written a book?” “No,” I would sigh. “I don’t write, I speak.” Then my father chimed in every few months, “Have you started that book yet?”

Having convinced myself that, indeed, I wasn’t a writer, every question was turned aside with a quip or sigh. Putting pen to paper on several occasions only reinforced what I thought to be true: I could speak at the drop of a petal but agonized over trying to put ideas on paper. Two things happened to change the direction of my actions and reactions to the questions.

First, the computer age caught up with me. Daily I was answering gardening questions, typing (Ah ha! Writing!) my answers. Turns out my fingers could keep up with my thoughts just fine, thank you. Second, a dear friend named Karen Bastow said to me one day, “You know, WE should write a book!” Hmmmmm. “we” sounded much, much better than “you.” So, off we went, not knowing quite where we were headed, but we were off.

Bryce Mortimer, of Cedar Fort Publishers, had sent me an email about a year earlier than Karen’s question, wondering if I was interested in writing a gardening book for his company. To myself I was thinking (You guessed it.), “I talk, I don’t write!” But I thanked him so much for his inquiry and said I would let him know if I ever decided to write a book. Then came a follow-up email, wondering if I had given thought to writing a gardening book because they were still interested. Sigh.

The writing of our book, Joy in Your Garden, went amazingly well. But then came the screaming and the running “¦ thank goodness Karen was well versed in editing and Annette Boren came on board as an editor and manager of all things paper. This first book was very well received, for which we were grateful, but we both knew there was a missing component to that book. We were then, and are still, convinced that gardening is an essential part of living providently.

Thus, our new book, The Incredible, Edible Landscape, completes the gardening cycle. One chapter, “From Seeds to Plants, and Back Again,” gives the general idea. Everyone should know how to plant from seed, successfully growing the resulting plants until the bounteous produce is harvested. But then, to be truly provident, a gardener needs to be able to save seeds from those fruits to continue providing safe, nutritious food for years to come. Karen and I believe this is more than a good idea; we believe it is council from our church leaders and part of following the commandment to be prepared so we need not fear.

Although I am much more comfortable in the role of a gardening cheerleader, as an author, I have been able to share the satisfying enjoyment of gardening with people far as well as near. I do believe everyone can enjoy the rich gifts of working in the soil, even if it is just the soil in a potted tomato. Peace of mind, clarity of thought, comfort of soul can all be found in a garden; or as Dorothy Gurney put it:

“¦One is nearer God’s heart in a garden,Than anywhere else on earth.

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