Wild garden

Creating an Ark with Mary Reynolds

Roots and All Podcast Episode 24 – Creating an Ark with Mary Reynolds

Mary Reynolds has a long and successful career in horticulture, which is underpinned by design, but has evolved along the way as she has striven to align her personal beliefs with her work.

Starting out in landscape design, Mary went on to become the youngest gold medal winner at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2002 where she took the show by storm with her naturalistic Celtic Sanctuary Garden. The incredible story of her journey to Chelsea and the creation of the garden was told in the 2016 film ‘Dare to be Wild’.

Mary continues to design gardens, seeking to create spaces “that are healing, truthful and magical”. Her design ethos is set out in her 2016 book ‘The Garden Awakening – Designs to Nurture Our Land and Ourselves’ which she describes as “a practical treasure map that leads gardeners into a gentle and healing relationship with the land. This book is a step by step instruction manual drawing on ancient methods of working with the land and using them to invite the power and energy of nature back into your life”.

In 2019, Mary launched an initiative called We Are The Ark, which invites gardeners, land owners and stewards to re-wild areas in their care. It’s this project that we focus on mainly in this episode and Mary explains the idea behind the project and how we can all get on board.

What We Cover:

– Mary’s career evolution

– We Are The Ark

– What stops people rewinding their land and how can we overcome these problems?

– Growing food yourself

– How this can work in urban areas or for those with small/no gardens

– What to watch out for when buying plants

– Establishing and managing your own Ark

– The future of garden design and gardening




Mary on Instagram: wildmarymary

Mary’s Book The Garden Awakening: Designs to Nurture our Land and Ourselves

Claire & Joe on Instagram: irishforestgarden

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