The Well Gardened Mind
‘The wisest book I’ve read for many years … Much more than a gardening book, much more than a guide to mental health … Hugely recommended’ Stephen Fry
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
A Times and Sunday Times Best Book of 2020
How can getting outdoors help us to look after our mental health?
In a powerful combination of contemporary neuroscience, psychoanalysis and brilliant storytelling, The Well Gardened Mind investigates the magic that many gardeners have known for years – working with nature can radically transform our health, wellbeing and confidence.
Prisoners given the chance to grow plants are less likely to reoffend.
At-risk young people who get their hands in the soil are more likely to stay in education.
Elderly people who garden live longer and have a better quality of life.
Sue Stuart-Smith tells brilliant, illuminating stories of people struggling with stress, depression, trauma and addiction, from asylum seekers to veterans, inner-city young people to the retired.
This is a glorious book of science, insight and anecdote that shows how our understanding of nature and its restorative powers is only just beginning to flower.
‘An important and timely book … Beautifully written, drawing on a lifetime’s experience as both a clinician and a gardener, and I urge everyone to read it’
‘Riveting, inspiring and often very moving … A lively, compassionate exhortation for us all to get our hands back in the soil’
‘A compelling and deeply moving account of how profoundly our wellbeing can be affected through contact with gardening and the natural world … Read it’
EDMUND DE WAAL
'Must be the most original gardening book ever' Sunday Times 'Fascinating ... brings indebtedness to nature into new focus and ... extends the awareness - backed up by compendious and elegant research - of how mentally enriching it is to swap screen for green ... [She] renders a very special service with this book' Observer 'The wisest book I've read for many years ... Much more than a gardening book, much more than a guide to better mental health, it is a wholly convincing story of how troubled minds might find a way of reconnecting to themselves and rebuilding confidence and hope by way of nature ... I've learned so much in the way of the history of psychiatry and psychology as well as practical tips for both mind and garden ... Hugely recommended' Stephen Fry 'A compelling and deeply moving account of how profoundly our wellbeing can be affected through contact with gardening and the natural world. This is a timely call of return. Read it.' Edmund de Waal 'An important and timely book ... Sue Stuart-Smith's book is beautifully written drawing on a lifetime's experience as both as a clinician and a gardener, and I urge everyone to read it' Monty Don 'Riveting, inspiring and often very moving ... A lively, compassionate exhortation for us all to get our hands back in the soil.' Isabella Tree 'Combines observation, horticulture, literature and history ... it is a book that builds, chapter by chapter ... As a reference and an inspiration ... There is much here to feed the soul' The Times 'A book so wise and comfortable that it merits a place alongside Christopher Lloyd's The Well-Tempered Garden by the side of every bed ... Her deep understanding of the human psyche makes this a perfect source text as well as an engrossing read.' Gardens Illustrated 'One of the best books ever written about gardening' Christopher Woodward, Director of the Garden Museum
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