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The Accidental Garden : Gardens, Wilderness and the Space In Between - Richard Mabey

The Accidental Garden

Gardens, Wilderness and the Space In Between

By: Richard Mabey

Hardcover | 27 August 2024

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The godfather of British nature writing reflects on the conflict between cultivation and autonomous nature

'Absolutely enchanting' ISABELLA TREE

We regard gardens as our personal dominions, where we can create whatever worlds we desire. But they are also occupied by myriads of other organisms, all with their own lives to lead. The conflict between these two power bases, Richard Mabey suggests, is a microcosm of what is happening in the larger world.

In this provocative book, rooted in the daily dramas of his own Norfolk garden, Mabey offers a different scenario, where nature becomes an equal partner, a 'gardener' itself. Against a background of disordered seasons he watches his 'accidental' garden reorganising itself. Ants sow cowslip seeds in the parched grass. Moorhens take to nesting in trees. A spectacular self-seeded rose springs up in the gravel. The garden becomes a place of cultural and ecological fusion, and perhaps a metaphor for the troubled planet.

This is vintage Mabey, maverick, intensely observed, and written with an unquenchable sense of wonder.
Industry Reviews
'Absolutely enchanting ... With wisdom, wit, erudition and modesty, Mabey explores the edgeland between cultivation and wildness' - Isabella Tree, author

'An enchanting, meditative account of a garden and its lives' - Noreen Masud, author

'Praise for Richard Mabey: 'Visionary, witty and erudite' - Telegraph

'Mabey is the kind of person you wish you had with you on every country walk, identifying, explaining, drawing on deep knowledge lightly worn' - Country Life

'As in all his work, what comes across is [Mabey's] abiding passion for plants and the sustenance they give both imaginatively and spiritually ... with the confident affection of someone discussing old friends' - Bella Bathurst

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