We Are the ARK: Returning Our Gardens to Their True Nature Through Acts of Restorative Kindness

Timber. Oct. 2022. 276p. ISBN 9781643261782. $30. GARDENING
In this non-gardening garden book, Irish author Reynolds (The Garden Awakening) advocates for returning cultivated spaces to nature. She wants people to become guardians rather than gardeners in her global movement to restore habitat to what it once was and should still be. She launched ARK, which stands for acts of restorative kindness, and it is a loose, international organization that preaches the gospel of restoring the Earth one small patch at a time. Evans’s gloriously fanciful illustrations are a major part of the text, serving to inspire all to “rewild” their manicured plots, no matter the size. Removing non-native plants, eliminating all chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and making space and providing water for the creatures that used to abound is merely the start. While this seems most appropriate for rural spaces rather than urban or suburban gardens, there are suggestions for plots as small as window boxes. The persuasive text is followed by an appendix that gives step-by-step plans, extensive references, and a bibliography.
VERDICT This may not be the handbook that many gardeners crave, but it is inspirational for all.
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