the garden of equal delights: the practice and principles of forest gardening by Anni Kelsey
Forest gardens are much in the news as an exemplary form of resilient, sustainable, small-scale agriculture and plenty has been written about them already. But little has been written about the role of those who 'look after' them. A forest garden is edible, fertile, abundant and beautiful because it functions as an ecosystem. The forest gardener is an integral part of this ecosystem - which raises the question of what exactly the forest gardener should be trying to do. This book answers that question. At the heart of a forest garden is the unique relationship between the garden and the gardener. The 'garden of equal delights' after which this book is named is Anni Kelsey's forest garden high on a wet and windy Welsh hillside. Rejecting control and a regimen of planned interventions in favour of a more intimate, knowing and connected relationship with her garden, Anni describes how she learned to garden as an intrinsic - and equal - part of the ecosystem. She uses her years of experience to formulate and explain in very practical terms a set of principles that other forest gardeners can follow in their own preferred way. So this is a challenging and inspiring story for experienced, new and would-be forest gardeners and for anyone with a love of nature and a longing to engage with it on a deeper level. A forest garden is a different garden which needs to be gardened differently by a different gardener.