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The drug-free gardenGreenery guru Ann Lovejoy wants you to just say no to lawn chemicals.

"Ann Lovejoy wants to get island gardens off drugs. Ann Lovejoy's Organic Garden Design Book, from which she reads at Eagle Harbor Books on April 5, helps readers design easy-to-care-for and ecologically sound gardens without chemicals. Tackling such subjects as cooperation, not control and making beautiful dirt, Lovejoy espouses her belief there are organic alternatives - simple, natural ways to garden.I've been saying the same basic things for 20 years. I would talk about compost and manure, and people would get antsy, Lovejoy said. The book is total common sense - which is in itself radical. It's saying things like 'Why would you plant grass in a region that's dry every summer?' In addition to writing about organic gardens, Lovejoy is working in partnership with Bainbridge Gardens to help island gardeners find alternatives to chemicals.She is collaborating with Bainbridge Gardens in their plan to go green and build sustainable nurseries. We've long been in association, now we're in partnership, Lovejoy said. We're still learning just what that means.I love the nursery business. You don't have to sell anything - people come to you because they want to. It's not like buying a toilet seat. Gardening has been a life-long pursuit for Lovejoy, a Massachusetts native who moved to Bainbridge from Seattle in 1985. Reading and writing are other interests; Lovejoy always assumed her love of books would impel her to become a writer, although she didn't foresee her role as a garden writer.Now the author of 18 gardening books - and featured on national Public Radio and national public television - Lovejoy also oversees an active household.Although she claims to love uncluttered, neat spaces, she concedes that her own home - inhabited by cats and teenage boys, bracketed by drum sets and electric guitar - is anything but serene. Fully engaged with life, Lovejoy maintains inner calm.I think you can be busy on the outside and be still within, Lovejoy said. I come from a very peaceful place.I am in service. Lovejoy has built a healing arts center in her backyard, a two-story open space called Sequoia, host to a women's community circle and daily classes in meditation, yoga and tai chi.She teaches free gardening classes at Bainbridge Gardens, and The Town in Bloom, Lovejoy's volunteer gardening project, makes gardens of neglected spaces. I love what I'm doing - it's exactly right livelihood, Lovejoy said. I focus on the juicy, joyful parts of life.* * * * *Ann Lovejoy reads from Ann Lovejoy's Organic Garden Design Book at 7:30 p.m. April 5 at Eagle Harbor Books. Information: 842-5332. "

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