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The Garden Awakening
The Garden Awakening

The Garden Awakening

Designs to Nurture Our Land and Ourselves


272 Pages, 6.60 x 9.20

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $30.00 (US $30.00) (CA $34.99)

Publication Date: March 2016

ISBN 9780857843135

Rights: US & CA

UIT Cambridge Ltd. (Mar 2016)
Green Books

Price: $30.00


Drawing inspiration from forest gardening and permaculture traditions, the award-winning garden designer Mary Reynolds encourages us to create a bond with the land to restore its health and feel its energy. She demonstrates how to create a magical garden that is an expanding, living, interconnected ecosystem. The Garden Awakening is thus a garden design book with a difference, where Mary encourages us to look at the land the way a parent looks at a child – as a gift and a responsibility. Mary shows how using an integrated living system in the garden removes the need for the incessant war on nature. She explains how to design a balanced ecosystem in the garden using the ancient multi-tiered approach of forest gardening, a system based on observing and mimicking nature. This design approach allows ecosystems to be whole and in balance while providing a place for human beings to live happy and productive lives. This beautifully illustrated book is both art and inspiration for any garden lover seeking to create a positive and natural space. It combines practical step-by-step instructions with spiritual, ancient Celtic stories to help you awaken any garden space, nurturing it to benefit both the land and the people in it. To transform a garden into a beautiful, wild area that embraces the spiritual side of nature, Mary suggests elements that should guide our design. She describes these elements in a winning manner and in detail, explaining the importance of communicating with the land and working with it, rather than bending it to the gardener’s will. Her advice is to introduce patterns, shapes and symbols of nature like circles and spirals and selecting areas for rest and meditation as part of the design.  After restoring its wellness and forming an alliance with the land and listening to its needs, she suggests first planting a shelterbelt (hedgerows, trees and tall shrubs) to protect from exposure.Then Mary shows how to bring the plan to life by planting the seven layers of a forest garden: 1.Upper Canopy Trees2.Sub-canopy trees3.Shrubs4.Herbaceous plants5.Ground cover6.Underground plants7.Climbers and vines The Garden Awakening includes detailed lists of plants for the different forest garden layers, with information on preferred soil type, height, spread, fruiting time, and much more. There are tips on pest and slug control and natural remedies for the treatment of leaf blight, scab, mosaic disease and other garden problems. Mary’s activism and support for a gentler approach to gardening is the subject of the movie ‘Dare to be Wild’, It is a romantic story of the local girl made good and plots the acceptance of her wild gardening principles by the garden design establishment.The Garden Awakening leaves us in no doubt that we need to nurture and protect our soil by allowing it to be a bit wild. It gives us the knowledge to do just that.


This is a fantastic book that you've written. I absolutely love it in the way that you capture the spirituality of the land and the magic of nature. I hope that many, many people will read your book and get a better sense of being in tune with nature in their gardens as a result, and follow some of your tips for making the place more beautiful and wonderful and more of a sense of home.#&8239; I really hope your book is very very successful. #&8239; Jane Goodall XXX need affiliation The Garden Awakening re-awakens sweet memories of my childhood and a love for nature. Mary Reynolds book is like an inspirational 'clarion call' to all of us humans to reconnect again with nature, where many of us are caught and suffocate in a pressurized, exploitative, dysfunctional concrete jungle. She shows us how to physically and cognitively engage in gardening, where actively planting, growing maintaining and harvesting food can be carried out as a part of natural habitats holistic ecosystem. She communicates this simple and earthy message in a compelling but unobtrusive way, where gardening and landscaping can heal and restore nature, while simultaneously bearing fruit and nurturing a life sustaining enjoyable, relaxing, de-stressing, yet essential part of our everyday lives. These instinctive traits are rekindled naturally in us, as they are genetically ingrained in the cognitive development of DNA of#&8239;homo sapiens, as we slowly evolved over millions of years as hunter gatherers and as early soil sowers and cultivators. Mary generously articulates and shares with us, her compelling persuasive twenty years of experience in creative gardening and landscape designs. She opens our world to a natural way of growing food by holistically working in harmony and in balance with nature's bio-diverse ecosystems. Duncan Stewart – Irish eco-architect, environmentalist & TV presenter A new manifesto for working with nature, The Awakening Garden seeks to re-establish our vital link with the world they live in. Mary Reynolds knows there is more, much more, to the outdoors than pretty gardens and her new book sets to show how you can unlock nature's secrets by immersion in what's around you. Jim Carroll – Journalist, Writer, Broadcaster Mary Reynolds, the ambassador for the elemental kingdom and a guide to those of us seeking to come home to ourselves through re-connecting with Mother Earth. Gifted with the Irish heritage of great story-telling, Mary weaves a fine tapestry of stories instilled with ancient druidic wisdom, which she offers helpful practical ways of applying in the modern world. Garden Awakening is a truly wonderful and highly inspiring read.#&8239; Markéta Irglová – Grammy and Oscar winning singer songwriter/Actor Mary Reynolds weaves a wonderful tapestry in which the garden is not only a resilient, productive and healthy space that provides food, it is also a magical place of beauty, peace and inner nurture. She shows you step by step how to design that special place both practically and spiritually so that you can co-create your little patch of heaven. Maddy Harland – Editor, Director, Co-Founder Permaculture Magazine | Permanent Publications We know truth when we hear it, we know it when we see it, those who still have some contact with their soul and the soul of the earth. Mary Reynolds has been appointed a guide, something she possibly didn't ask for, but that's been bestowed upon her capable shoulders. She has a punk-like reluctance in her writing that I believe. She's really onto something, we must nurture the wildness within us, and see the beauty in the wildness without. She connects back to a deep past, to a timeless growth and regrowth, to the natural, to the voices moving in the land, to a church not made by hands. Glen Hansard – Grammy and Oscar winning singer songwriter/Actor Mary Reynolds is not really a garden designer: at least not in the same way that the rest of us are garden designers. She is a custodian of the earth,

Author Biography

Mary Reynolds is the youngest woman to win a gold medal at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. She is an Irish garden and landscape designer, famous for her wild gardens at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens in London and worldwide. Her life has been the inspiration for a film: Dare to be Wild.