The Garden Awakening: Designs To Nurture Our Land and Ourselves

Green. Sept. 2016. 272p. illus. index. ISBN 9780857843135. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9780857843142. GARDENING
Many gardening books describe how gardeners create outdoor spaces; this one begins with healing the partnership between the underlying land and the gardener. For award-winning garden designer Reynolds, walking and knowing the environment precedes any planning or planting. Her gardens are more terrain, textured hillocks, and paths, incorporating symbols that are heavy with meaning (spirals, circles, squares), to create places for wishing, praying, and releasing. Trees are anchors, and every plant has a purpose that is useful and spiritual. Sketched plans for small, medium, and large gardens show both layout and how mature plantings may look. The second half discusses the growth of a forest garden, a sustainable evolution taking three to ten years. Plant suggestions based on function (canopy, shrubs, vines, etc.) provide soil preferences and edible parts. Well-known alternative methods of mulching, managing pests, and controlling diseases are the practical yin to the magical yang of this book. Biodynamic and permaculture gardening practices permeate this work, and Monty Waldin's Biodynamic Gardening would be a straightforward introduction to these biodynamic theories.
VERDICT This unusual and beautifully illustrated volume, complete with a ribbon bookmark, reflects "outside-the-box" thinking from a singularly talented landscape designer. Recommended for most collections.
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