Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World ~ Wendy Johnson

At night the garden drops below daylight language and murmurs in an older tongue, in voices of wormwood and rue, black cohosh and henbane, reminding me that the plants of the garden attend to me as well as allowing me to attend to them. In the berry patches, orchards and vegetable, herb, and flower beds that surround our homes, medicine, food, and poison abide together in a deep-rooted tangle.

Wendy Johnson was the head gardener at the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, “where the fields curve like an enormous green dragon between the hills and the ocean.” Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate conveys the fundamentals of gardening told through stories and spiritual lessons accompanied by beautiful illustrations. Stories about gardening become something more – something that reaches beyond the flowers and vegetables into the roots. For those who want to dig in, there is a fantastic list of resources for each chapter. After many stories in the book, I would find myself daydreaming or making plans for my own garden. Reading it was a little bit like meditating. Johnson makes you slow down and look at the little things. As a gardener, this was a special treat.

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