Philosophy for Gardeners: Ideas and paradoxes to ponder in the garden
Explore ideas, consider the big questions and learn life lessons in your garden.
Gardening is an innately thoughtful as well as practical pastime: planning ahead, imagining how plants will grow, deciding what will make a 'good' garden, wondering at the beauty of flowers and noticing how ecosystems work.
This delightful and engaging collection of essays illustrate how many philosophical ideas arise naturally in gardeners’ everyday work.
Growers by their nature are in fact already philosophers:
- existentialists who try to live and work by their own rules in a garden;
- stoics who put up with slug damage again and again, and try to work in harmony with nature;
- and practical quantum scientists who witness incredible processes going on in plant cells beneath the ground.
In Philosophy for Gardeners, Kate Collyns uses aspects of gardening to introduce and explore a range of philosophical ideas and schools of thought; cultivating a greater understanding and appreciation of intriguing concepts, propagated from science, evolution and aesthetics through to politics, economics and ethics.
Broken into four sections, Soil, Growth, Harvest and Cycles, each section explores questions of philosophy through the lens of the garden. A fascinating read, this book is as perfect for students of philosophy as it is for gardeners, filled with thought-provoking reflections on life, being and existence.
Kate Collyns is a gardener and philosopher. She set up her organic market garden at Hartley Farm in Wiltshire following her graduation of the Soil Association’s Horticultural Apprenticeship in 2010. Kate has an MA in Philosophy from the University of London, and likes nothing better than to ponder the existential nature of the universe whilst weeding a bed of lettuce.