“The earth is alive, just like you and me. It is all one body of land, yet it is broken up into different individual pieces, just like you and me.
Until recent times, people have always understood that the earth beneath us is a living, sentient being. In Ireland we have a particularly familial relationship with the land we live with, one which is expressed throughout history in our myths and customs.
By embracing your garden as another member of your family, you begin to see it differently. Parenting your land is a magical process. This journey that is offered to us through our gardens is a fantastic chance to heal ourselves and the little pieces of the earth we are lucky enough to call our own – our gardens.
Not always an easy ride this relationship, a fine line has always existed between love and hate. These days, the land bears the brunt of the anger we feel for the lack of connection with the earth beneath us. Without this connection people feel lost, bereft, unhealthy and empty. A bottomless pit of a hole remains that can never be filled no matter how much television, chocolate, adrenaline or drugs you pack into it.
The earth is suffering too. Land has its own dreams and intentions. Like any living being it wants the chance to live, to grow and evolve into a mature adult, to become a stable and complete living being. Cleared land is like a child that needs to be loved and encouraged to develop into a mature, unique and powerful individual. Over millions of years the land has evolved the most intelligent and stable system possible. This stability is expressed as mature and diverse woodland. Only then is land happy in itself, stable and mature, settled and balanced.
We do not allow the land to grow into this mature state of being any more. We take the pieces of land that we are lucky enough to be guardians of, and we cover them with modern gardens. Controlled, dead spaces that bear no resemblance to the dreams and intentions of the living breathing body beneath our feet. Our gardens are the one place we have the opportunity to truly make a difference to the earth. By healing both ourselves, and the land we live with, we are truly changing the world.
I believe in a new approach to gardens that is truly a co–creation with nature. It is possible to weave our own creativity and intentions through the land while still allowing the lands own needs and intentions to be expressed hand in hand with this.
Critically, I feel that if we are truly serious about walking gently on the earth, then we need to return to growing our own food through local, sustainable healthy processes. This understanding is part of my commitment to reworking our concept of a garden”.
Drawing on old Irish ways, her own deep love and understanding of land and her practical knowledge of gardening and design, Mary tries to encourage us to let the earth breath again in our gardens and in the process, find our roots and begin to grow and blossom hand in hand with nature.