Book Review - The Humane Gardener by Nancy Lawson - Garden Gossip - Smith "Nature Friendly" Farm

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Book Review - The Humane Gardener by Nancy Lawson

Published by Jollean Smith in Books · 9/5/2020 09:58:20
Tags: NatureHumaneGardenerNancyLawsonBook

As some of you may know each year we set a book reading goal. This year’s goal is to read 12 books and we have completed 3 so far. I am going to share with you a review of number 3 which was Nancy Lawson’s “The Humane Gardener”.



This book should be the staple book for any nature loving person. It should sit on your coffee table out in the open ready to spark conversation with anyone who visits. I personally loved this book as it was a very close reflection of my personal growth to becoming more nature aware.



Nancy tells her own story of becoming more aware of nature and how she started to see that cultural norms were not very kind to nature. She writes about a few nature loving people who  are using their backyards to create incredible nature friendly spaces.

The book is a very easy read with some beautiful pictures and with just over 200 pages it goes pretty fast. You may want to have a pen and paper handy when reading it, as there are a lot of plant suggestions that you may want to jot down.

What I think I like most about Nancy’s approach in this book is that she is gentle. She is not making anyone feel bad for their habits. She humanizes the journey through her humble sharing of her own experience. She does not push perfection, but encourages balance. This to me will be the key in getting more people to be kinder to nature. It will be very hard to change the habits of our green grass, non native plant and chemical problem solving culture. To encourage change it has to allow for some balance.

I have left many pollinator friendly groups on Facebook as there is no balance. The ones I left jumped on people who still had a love for a not so friendly habit. A green lawn, bug spray, leaf blower, non native plant etc. Although I support the goal of getting people to move away from those things, it won’t be encouraged without a gentle approach and some flexibility. People need an education of the benefits, to grow an awareness of the nature that exists or that develops once some habits are changed. They don’t need to be shamed. Baby steps. If Bob keeps his leaf blower for his driveway but adds some native plants and drops the lawn chemicals, that is progress. If Sandy starts to add native plants but still occasionally adds a few non native tropicals to her garden, that is progress. It does not have to be perfect but we do definitely have to do better. The magic though is when a large number of people in the world make a bunch of small changes for nature and Nancy’s book is encouragement for this.

Her book will give you some very simple ideas on how to be kinder to nature. The stories of the benefits that others are finding will encourage those with a desire to create more balance.

For us at Smith’s Nature Friendly Farm this book aligns 100% with our values and goals. We are not perfect, but we are constantly working to be kinder to nature.

If you buy this book, you will be supporting a person who is educating the world on being kinder to nature. She presents to groups and on social media educating people the simple changes one can make to be kinder to nature. Seems like a good person to spend your hard earned dollars on if you ask me.

Her book is available here on Amazon:



This is a book that will sit on my coffee table for sure, consider adding it to yours.

Alright folks, thanks for reading. Be friendly. Be kind.

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Want to keep reading?
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