The Humane Gardener

art by Marjolein Bastin
Book Review by pam mcnew
Translated into Spanish by Rob English

If on grand or modest scale, one is able to apply this book’s principles to their life and the living of it, one will have the very formula of what is apt to bring true and lasting happiness (not only within you, but around you).

“We have the world to live in on the condition that we will take good care of it. And to take good care of it, we have to know it. And to know it and to be willing to take care of it, we have to love it.” Wendell Berry

There are many a book over a vast terrain of time that have encouraged us to save this earthly home by letting it be, by not harming it, by observing and respecting its very wholeness. One such book is THE HUMANE GARDENER by Nancy Lawson. I most highly recommend it.

“To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”
Wendell Berry

“Nothing that is necessary for life is lacking” as someone most wisely said. We have to learn to trust those words, for they are true.

So for most people it would take letting go of the false and embracing the complex-for-a-reason real world about us to be a true Humane Gardener. And this would be a really good thing.

I cannot praise highly enough the support, inspiration and worthiness of the book THE HUMANE GARDENER by Nancy Lawson. It is a humble looking book that brings new hope to me for our personal opportunity to bring about a transformed world right in our own backyard… or in the spaces around us that we might make a change.

The lure of the glamorous porn-like market of seductive non-native plants needs to be brought to its knees and made to see where true beauty lives and blooms.

Mono-cropped lawns give no hope of shelter nor nourishment to the vital diversity of life on this earth. In order for us all to survive, such practices and habits really must be changed. We need to find a new model within us… a different sense of loveliness… so that we will always keep the butterflies, the bees, the bunnies and all in between vital and thriving.

Leaves that fall give shelter to beneficial insects during the autumn, winter and spring. The nutrients they bring the soil is the health of the trees and even our very own gardens. The birds and the fish, the four footed and the microorganisms all need to be viewed in appreciative ways and protected in all our actions.

No herbicides, no pesticides, no mulches, straight rows in a formal garden will win the hearts of those who are truly nurturing their backyard habitat. And if and when united, these areas turn into life sustaining havens for the sovereign beings we ought all be concerned about and cherish. Run to get this book. It will nourish you, too.

“We don’t experience natural environments enough to realize how restored they can make us feel, nor are we aware that studies also show they make us healthier, more creative, more empathetic and more apt to engage with the world and with each other. Nature, it turns out, is good for civilization.” Florence Williams

pam mcnew is a member of the board of People for Animal Rights, P.O. Box 15358, Syracuse, NY 13215-0358, (315)488-PURR (7877) between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.,,