Seed to Dust
Marc Hamer, Jonathan Ashworth
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2021*
‘A wholly original, semi-autobiographical book on how to live, how to be calm and content with only a little, in a quietly humming garden’ Daily Mail
Any garden belongs to everyone who sees it – it is like a book and everybody who visits it will find different things.
Marc Hamer has designed and nurtured 12 acres of garden for over two decades. It is rarely visited so he is the only person who fully knows its secrets; but it is not his own. His relationship with the garden’s owner is both distant and curiously intimate, steeped in the mysterious connection which exists between two people who inhabit the same space in very different ways.
In this life-enhancing book Marc takes us month-by-month through his experiences both working in the garden and outside it, as the seasons’ changes bring new plants and wildlife to the fore and lead him to reflect on his past and future. Through his peaceful and meditative prose we learn about gardening folklore and wisdom, the joys of manual labour, his path from solitary homelessness to family contentment and the cycle of growth and decay that runs through both the garden’s life and our own.
Beautifully illustrated, Seed to Dust is a moving and restorative account of a life lived in harmony with nature.
You’ve seen gates like that at the side of the road, you’ve wondered what’s behind them. They really are the entrance to the wonders you imagined.
Seed to Dust draws on Hamer's deep sense of connection with plants and the earth as well as a lifetime of experience. Beautifully observed and quietly reflective, this is an absorbing and life-affirming read. * Sue Stuart-Smith, author of The Well-Gardened Mind * I'm so grateful that this kindred spirit set aside his tools awhile and came indoors to write. No facet of nature, however subtle, eludes Marc Hamer - and I relish being invited along on each intimate adventure. * Margaret Roach, author of A Way to Garden * An escape from the chaos of the world...I especially love seeing the unusual friendship between Marc and Miss Cashmere unfolding. He brings the reader right alongside him as he works, so we can really feel the sting of the rose thorns and the energy of a garden awakening and blooming -- Lulah Ellender
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