The Garden Awakening
Designs to nurture our land and ourselves

By Mary Reynolds

The Garden Awakening
Hardback, 208 pages £19.99
Published: 31st March 2016
ISBN: 9780857843135
Format: 234mm x 168mm

Click here to see ebook versions available
Published: 31st March 2016
ISBN: 9780857843142
PDF, 272 pages
Published: 31st March 2016
ISBN: 9780857843159

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“A remarkable, inspirational and admirable woman has written a book that should be essential reading for everyone interested in the real meaning of wellbeing in its widest sense”
– Sir Tim Smit, Executive Vice-Chairman, and Co-founder of the Eden Project

“Mary Reynolds is … a custodian of the earth, a creature of the forest and, above all, a creative spirit whose work is so deeply anchored to the earth that her gardens are always a partnership rather than an imposition.”
– James Alexander-Sinclair, Royal Horticultural Society council member, garden designer, writer and TV presenter

“Mary Reynolds here gives charming and practical expression to the wild, free and joyful voice which beckons us all … Garden Awakening reminds us that the natural but hidden connections between soil and soul are at once familiar,
comfortable and sovereign."
– Peter Bane, author The Permaculture Handbook

The Garden Awakening is a garden design book with a difference. Mary looks at the land the way a parent looks at a child – as a gift and a responsibility. Learn how to design and nurture a beautiful, vibrant and magical space; bring the energy and atmosphere of wild places into your garden; incorporate sustainable living and growing your own food, in partnership with nature and you will never look at your garden in the same way again.


Foreword by Larry Korn 


I. Restoring Wellness

Sacred Spaces

Nature is Stronger than Nurture

Finding Your Roots

Restoring Health to your Land 


II. Garden Design

Gardens as expressions of beauty 

The five elements for designing gardens in partnership with nature 

Design element 1: The tool of intention. Magic uncloaked 

Design element 2: Selecting areas to hold specific intentions

Design element 3: Designing with the patterns and shapes of nature

Design element 4: The power of symbols and imagery 

Design element 5: Putting your design on paper


III. The Forest Garden

Forging an alliance 


I Never Liked Planting Plans 

Grow Your Own 

Forest Gardening 

Successional Planting 

Forest Gardening in Steps 

The Seven Layers of a Forest Garden 

Bees for Life 



IV. Alternative Management Practices


Ways to Clear the Land 

Lawns and Lawn Maintenance 

Pest Control 

Natural Remedies

Tonics, Fertilizers, Potting Mixtures and Tree Protection 

The Cultivation and Care of Trees



Sir Tim Smit – Executive Vice-Chairman and Co-founder of the world famous Eden Project in Cornwall
We are creatures and a part of nature, not apart from it. This marvelous book is important because it has a muscular intensity rooted not in a naïve romantic notion that – wouldn’t it be nice if the world was this way, but instead has a sharp certain view that this is real and while elements of the interpretation have to be left, for now, to instinct…science will surely follow. I loved this book and feel that with each passing year it will become more important as the evidence we already have – that people with illness recover more quickly when in nature, that the microbial worlds that inhabit us are so closely related to those we find in the soil beneath our feet that before long the notion that we are all “earthlings” will mean something very big indeed. Everything we thought we knew about the world is about to change. We stand on the boundary of a Renaissance of science so profound that the concepts once deemed “hippy” or “alternative” will come to be seen as prescient. Mary Reynolds’ book has a central truth at the heart of it. Ecosystems are complex to observe, but simple in concept and wherever humans interfere with natural balance, history proves us wrong.

– a remarkable, inspirational  and admirable woman has written a book that should be essential reading for everyone interested in the real meaning of wellbeing in its widest sense and…I’d start with Ministers of Agriculture, Health and Education across the world.

Maddy Harland – Editor, Director, Co-Founder Permaculture Magazine | Permanent Publications
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.

Glen Hansard – Grammy and Oscar winning singer songwriter/Actor
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.

Markéta Irglová – Grammy and Oscar winning singer songwriter/Actor
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.

(Marketa and Glen are known for the independent  movie called Once (and the spin off musical theatre production which won 8 Tony awards and 1 Olivier Award) in which they starred, wrote and performed the music for, which won an Oscar and Grammy and brought them worldwide recognition.)

Eoin Colfer  – Internationally acclaimed Author
The Garden Awakening has woken me up. Beautifully written with a message that will open your eyes to a whole new outside world. A revelation. Mary Reynolds preaches harmony. You will be a convert.

James Alexander-Sinclair – RHS judge and council member, chairman of the RHS Gardens Committee, internationally acclaimed garden designer, writer, speaker and television presenter
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, a creature of the forest and, above all, a creative spirit whose work is so deeply anchored to the earth that her gardens are always a partnership rather than an imposition. In this book she explains her philosophy, her life and her dreams.  You need to listen to her voice as what she says makes perfect sense.

Rob Hopkins – Founder of the Transition movement and author of ‘The Power of Just Doing Stuff’
‘The Garden Awakening’ offers a treasury of insight and advice for anyone who feels that our culture’s relationship to land has profoundly lost its way and is seeking new inspiration.  Her skilful drawing together of history and beauty, her acute appreciation of place, and her belief in taking nature as the model for how we design, together offer us something that feels deeply right and utterly timely.  You will enjoy your sun-dappled walk through the scented glades of its pages, the weaving paths, soft underfoot, of its reasoning, and vibrant and delicate sprays of inspiration and ideas it leaves you with.  Read it, then go plant a paradise.

Peter Bane – Author ‘The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country’
If the land has ever spoken to you, through the song of a bird, the creaking of a bough, or in the glimmering light of faerie dance, you have entered this story. Mary Reynolds here gives charming and practical expression to that wild, free, and joyful voice which beckons us all. Garnering insight from permaculture, biodynamics, and her own wonderful weird, she shows how to deepen the conversation until it becomes both profound and ecstatic. Garden Awakening reminds us that the natural but hidden connections between soil and soul are at once familiar, comfortable, and sovereign.

Billy Roche – Irish Playwright
The Garden Awakening by Mary Reynolds brims with poetry and mythology and psychology and algebra and geometry and ancient symbols and dream-like parables and other unexpected things. In her hands the wounded earth becomes a living, breathing creature: it sighs and moans and remembers. We really should sit up and take notice she tells us – the earth won’t forget.

Gillies MacKinnon – Film Director
The Garden Awakening performs the miracle of waking up and engaging someone like me with no prior interest in gardens; in fact, showing me an idea of the garden quite unlike anything I had ever imagined. This book is not only strikingly original, but lucid, inspiring and soundly practical.

Fergal Smith – Pro-surfer turned organic farmer, Moy Hill community garden, Co. Clare
The Gardening Awakening by Mary Reynolds has put into words what gardeners feel they should be doing and know to be true but society doesn’t encourage this way of thinking. Mary has tuned into nature and articulated it better than I have ever read before. Every gardener needs to read this book to empowered themselves to do what their heart desires.

Duncan Stewart – Irish eco-architect, environmentalist and media personality
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 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.

Jim Carroll – Journalist, Writer, Broadcaster

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.

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 garden at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens in London. Her life has been the inspiration for a film: Dare to be Wild.

Publication Details:

Binding: Hardback, 208 pages
ISBN: 9780857843135
Format: 234mm x 168mm

Binding: Electronic book text
ISBN: 9780857843142
Format: EPUB

Binding: Electronic book text, 272 pages
ISBN: 9780857843159
Format: PDF

BISAC Code:  GAR006000, OCC000000
Imprint: Green Books

References & Resources:
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