A Greener Life: Discover the joy of mindful and sustainable gardening
Laurence King Publishing, £19.99 ISBN 978-0857828934
As someone who is already sold on the mental and physical benefits of spending time in nature, it was moving to read about the positive effects taking on his first garden had on the author. Suffering from stress and anxiety, as he nurtured his burgeoning garden Jack Wallington discovered that it in turn nurtured him, so much so that he studied horticulture, quit his job and is now a landscape designer.
Wallington’s passion for sustainability is woven throughout The Greener Life, written from his experience in a tiny London garden. He explains why a garden should be shared with wildlife, along with interesting snippets and statistics. There are tips on how to make creatures feel at home in the garden and the pleasure that brings, and there’s even a section on why aphids are awesome.
This packed book covers creating a garden from scratch; growing herbs, edibles and houseplants; and the final chapter discusses how to connect with the environment beyond the garden gate. Practical know-how is explained in an approachable way, which makes it a good introduction for those new to gardening. For more experienced gardeners,
there’s inspiration for making a beautiful biodiverse outdoor space.
The planting sections are divided into static, spreading, star, suppressing and surprise plants, guiding the reader to construct their own planting design. I liked that Wallington doesn’t subscribe to the idea of sticking to a limited planting palette for small gardens. Instead he includes tips on how to combine a wide range of plants in a naturalistic style without creating what he describes as ‘a tatty, chaotic look’.
For him, it’s the connection with flora and fauna that is fundamental to the act of gardening – an approach this book will hopefully encourage more people to adopt.
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