The Accidental Garden : Gardens, Wilderness and the Space In Betwee

The Accidental Garden : Gardens, Wilderness and the Space In Betwee

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Richard Mabey

6 June 2024


'Part memoir, part naturescape and part gardening book ... there is also something much rarer in this book: wisdom. What a treat' The Times'Delightful ...

Mabey is the doyen of UK nature writing' New Statesman'Our greatest nature writer' New ScientistWe 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.