Title: The Druid Garden: Gardening For a Better Future, Inspired by the Ancients
Publisher: Moon Books
Author: Luke Eastwood
Illustrator: Elena Danaan
Price: $27.95 / $10.49
We have a mighty task before us. The earth needs our assistance. — Laurens van der Post
Oak and alder. Heather and honeysuckle. Hogweed and houseleek. Broccoli and beans, chili peppers and coriander These are but a few of the trees, shrubs, herbs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables that make up a Druid’s garden.
In this comprehensive, well-researched, and deeply spiritual book, Eastwood explores the nature of a “Druid garden”: rituals, spirits, trees, flowers, fruits and vegetables, elements and garden designs, cultivation and propagation, soil health and composting, and so much more. Over the course of twelve chapters, Eastwood blends the sacred and the mundane into a cohesive whole, exploring the history of gardens, why Druid gardens are necessary, how to go about creating one, and how to maintain it.
While the book may be titled The Druid Garden, it will appeal to anyone with an interest in sustainable agriculture, nature spirituality, and the intersection thereof. For example, in chapter six Eastwood discusses “Plants as Living Beings” by going over the basics of floral anatomy; this is followed in chapter seven by exercises, meditations, visualizations, offerings, and rites for connecting with plants. The rites specifically mention the Deities, elements, constellations, et cetera of the Druidic tradition, but could be easily adapted for another tradition.
The Druid Garden is illustrated throughout by beautiful line drawings by Elena Danaan. I was especially struck by the very first illustration at the beginning of chapter one: a standing stone with ogham, rabbits and birds, butterflies and blooming trees. That drawing called to me: quiet, peaceful, balanced.
The Druid Garden is grounded in ancient beliefs, but speaks to modern needs. It is hopeful and inspirational, drawing upon both both science and spirituality. Highly recommended to Pagans of all traditions, as well as fans of Seasons of the Sacred Earth by Cliff Seruntine, Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm by Stephen Harrod Buhner, and Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]