Imprint: Triarchy Press
Publication: June 2020
Size: 15.2 x 22.9 cm
Order the paperback (£12.50)
From a review by Martin Crawford of the Agroforestry Research Trust, Dartington, UK:
"Anni Kelsey’s book treads where few forest gardening books have gone before: looking at the relation-ship between garden and gardener. What exactly should the forest gardener be trying to do? How does the garden teach and change us? I am impressed by her list of principles and especially enjoyed her list of non-activities to help let go of control and allow the garden and gardener freedom to develop."
From a review by Dr Carole Kirk:
"The work of the forest gardener, the author suggests, shifts from traditional tasks of digging and weeding, to more observational ‘tasks’ of watching, waiting, and learning how the garden develops as an ecosystem. She acknowledges that watching and waiting can be uncomfortable... The gardener's job is to watch carefully as an ecosystem slowly develops that no longer requires pest management, weeding, or added fertility.
Only once the forest gardener begins to understand this ecosystem, and the many interactions occurring within it, can they begin to gently intervene. This is a patient, absorbed quality of watching with no agenda other than noticing what is going on.
Anni Kelsey shows us how she evolved this gentle, watchful role in her own garden, and how she learned to delight in its complexity and abundance. Her development of the gardener’s role into one of appreciation and humility brought her to a transformational understanding of her place in the world, and perhaps our place in the world. Slowly, gently, the garden changed the gardener."
Extract from the book:
"Planning and planting a forest garden is just the very beginning of an interactive and co-creative engagement between forest garden and forest gardener. This co-creativity begins immediately after planting and continues ever after.
First, there is the everyday level of interacting with the forest garden to support it in creating and sustaining an ecosystem that will become healthy, fertile and abundant.
But there is a deeper level as well which is about how we habitually relate to the natural world. This is the story of the remaking of our human perceptions from a perspective of assumed and rightful dominance and control of nature to a place of humble, appreciative, thoughtful and sensitive integration with it. Therein are significant treasures that are not at all obvious from the outset."