Inner Gardening

"If you want to feel the magic of gardening and discover a new path to your own garden within, read this beautiful book."
--Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., author of Conscious Living

ISBN: 0-06-008428-6

Throughout history, gardening has been a familiar metaphor for self-cultivation and spiritual growth. Inner Gardening explores the spiritual while rejoicing in the wonders of nature.

"For years, author Diane Dreher has helped readers discover the joys and teachings of the Tao Te Ching through her popular books, The Tao of Inner Peace, The Tao of Womanhood, and The Tao of Personal Leadership. Now, in Inner Gardening, she invites readers to roll up their sleeves and dig into the soil for a spiritual journey of a different sort. Written for the gardener in all of us, Inner Gardening offers insights not only on practical gardening techniques, but on cultivating the "garden within." Divided into four parts, this enchanting volume takes gardeners of all levels-and anyone seeking a more serene and balanced life-on a journey of self-renewal through the seasons of the year. New gardeners will find helpful advice about soils, planning, and plant care. More experienced gardeners will discover a new kinship with gardening traditions, realizing how many gardening tasks of today reach back through the centuries. And all readers will discover how gardening can teach us essential lessons in self-cultivation and spiritual growth.
In chapter one, Dreher shares with readers some personal history about her own gardening and how it has affected her life, then goes on to present in chapter two a survey of gardens past and present, from the earliest subsistence gardens grown over seven thousand years ago to medieval pleasure gardens to 17th century devotional gardens to modern gardens created as art. In the twelve chapters that follow, she moves readers from season to season, month to month, offering practical tips, bits of history, inspirational quotes, recipes, reflection questions, and personal exercises, combining advice on cultivating a green thumb with principles for cultivating greater joy in life. Readers will learn:
How and what to plant during each season of the year, and how to care for the Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall garden.
Garden reflections for each month of the year to bring more meaning into the practical aspects of caring for an ever-transforming garden.
How basic gardening principles such as composting, watering, weeding, mulching, sowing, pruning, and fertilizing can provide powerful metaphors for the process of spiritual growth, encouraging renewal, balance, order, patience, presence, mindful choices, attention, and care.
How to keep a garden journal that records both the natural growth in the garden as well as spiritual transformation.
The basic tools needed to care for a garden, how to use them, and their historical roots.
The differences between growing flowers, vegetables, and herbs-with special tips and sections on how to grow particularly tricky plants.
And much, much more.
From tips on pest control to exercises for self-cultivation-planting seeds to achieve dreams; weeding out bad habits; designing a "life's garden," and more-Dreher offers life-enhancing strategies for garden and gardener alike, affirming that what is cultivated by us is also cultivated within us.

Whether a new gardener growing vegetables in the backyard, a more experienced gardener curious about garden history, or just some one who's always loved plants, every reader will find something to cherish in this unique book."--from HarperCollins press release.

Selected Works

Nonfiction
"A most helpful book for finding both your passion and your calling for life."
--Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D., author of Love Is Letting Go of Fear
Spiritual
"A simple and comprehensive vision of personal and planetary peace...Dreher's examples work as meditations as well as road maps"
--Minneapolis Star Tribune