Inner Gardening: Four Seasons of Cultivating the Soil and the Spirit

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9780688178123: Inner Gardening: Four Seasons of Cultivating the Soil and the Spirit
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Cultivation of the soil meets cultivation of the soul in this refreshing approach to personal growth by the author of The Tao of Inner Peace. By combining practical gardening advice, personal narrative, and lessons in spiritual practice, Diane Dreher offers anyone who wants a more serene, balanced life a nurturing volume of the gentle, perceptive self-help that has endeared her books to thousands.

Inner Gardening was written for the gardener in all of us and unites inspiration with gardening advice and wisdom, insights from medieval and Renaissance poets and philosophers, as well as the author's own gardening experiences.

Divided into four seasons, the book takes readers on a journey of renewal throughout the year. New gardeners will find a monthly set of gardening tasks, including useful information about soil, mulching, composting, planning, pest control, and plant care. More experienced gardeners will gain new knowledge of garden history and learn how seasonal cycles and garden tasks echo centuries of tradition. Each chapter then segues into "Gardening as Spiritual Practice," offering personal exercises for self-cultivation: planting seeds of ideas and dreams, weeding out bad habits and unfulfilling tasks, designing new challenges one step at a time, and more.

Brimming with life-enhancing strategies for garden and gardener alike, Inner Gardening affirms what everyone who has ever planted a seed and watched it grow knows: what we cultivate around us, we also cultivate within.

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From the Author:

From the author, Diane Dreher:
I wrote Inner Gardening for the gardener in all of us, blending practical gardening advice with personal narrative, self-help insights, and perennial garden wisdom. Seasonal feasts and saint's days, plant histories, herbal lore, and garden quotes from Medieval and Renaissance poets take readers through the garden year and back to earlier times when gardening was a metaphor for self-cultivation and spiritual growth. The twelve main chapters of the book span the twelve months of the garden year, in a cycle of growth and renewal leading from the new beginnings of early spring to the warm profusion of summer, the golden harvest of autumn, the quiet wisdom of winter, and the promise of another spring.

New gardeners will find seasonal checklists and helpful information about soils, planning, and plant care they can use in their own gardens. More experienced gardeners will gain a new kinship with garden history, realizing how the tasks in their gardens today echo centuries of liturgical and agrarian tradition. Blending poetry, practical advice, and personal narrative, the book affirms what everyone knows who has ever planted a seed and watched it grow: what we cultivate around us, we also cultivate within us. Relieving stress and bringing us back to ourselves, our gardens provide us with harvests of more than fruits and flowers. They can bring us a deep sense of peace, inspiration, and personal renewal. It is my hope that Inner Gardening will serve as a helpful guide for readers as they cultivate their own gardens--within and around them.

About the Author:

Diane Dreher, Ph.D., is the author of The Tao of Inner Peace, The Tao of Womanhood, and The Tao of Personal Leadership. She holds a Ph.D. in English from UCLA, with credentials in spiritual counseling and holistic health. Diane leads workshops on balance and personal growth nationwide. She teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing at Santa Clara University and cultivates her garden at home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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