Monday, February 27, 2006

Gardens, Nature Spirits and Spirituality

All gardeners know better than other gardeners. - Chinese Proverb

The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before. - Vita Sackville-West, 1892 - 1962

I have found, through years of practice, that people garden in order to make something grow; to interact with nature; to share, to find sanctuary, to heal, to honor the earth, to leave a mark. Through gardening, we feel whole as we make our personal work of art upon our land. - Julie Moir Messervy, The Inward Garden, 1995, p.19

The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul. - Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, 1996, p. 101

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,
I keep it staying at Home -
With a bobolink for a Chorister,
And an Orchard, for a Dome.
- Emily Dickinson, No. 324, St. 1, 1862

There is no end to wonderful quotes about nature and gardens. I agree with Emily Dickinson: my church is nature. That is why I am so angry with mankind's destruction of the natural world. Most gardeners feel a deep connection to the earth and the best gardeners are in tune with it. Gardens (and nature) nourish the soul more than the body, imo. Without a doubt, some of the most beautiful literature has been written about gardens, gardening and nature.

The following books are beautiful reads that will help you create a more beautiful world. Every little bit helps. Of course, you can find them at your local independent bookstore, or by searching by title on

  1. The Gaia Book of Organic Gardening by Charlie Ryrie and Cindy Engel

  2. Organic Gardening for the 21st Century: A Complete Guide to Growing Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs and Flowers by John Fedor

  3. Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Resource for Every Gardener edited by Fern Marshall Bradley and Barbara W. Ellis

  4. Growing Myself: A Spiritual Journey Through Gardening by Judith Handelsman

  5. The Findhorn Garden: Pioneering a New Vision of Humanity and Nature in Cooperation

  6. Spiritual Gardening: Creating Sacred Space Outdoors

  7. Creating Eden: The Garden As a Healing Space by Marilyn Barrett

  8. Gardens for the Soul: Designing Outdoor Spaces Using Ancient Symbols, Healing Plants and Feng Shui by Pamela Woods

  9. In Search of the Magic of Findhorn by Karin Bogliolo and Carly Newfeld

  10. Perelandra Garden Workbook: A Complete Guide to Gardening with Nature Intelligences

  11. Nature Spirits & Elemental Beings by Marko Pogacnik

  12. The Deva Handbook : How to Work with Nature's Subtle Energies by Nathaniel Altman

Organic Gardening Magazine- an excellent periodical Sign up for their e-newsletter
A landscape website with some great links

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