I love gardening, and find that it is a wonderful place to connect to God and find refreshment and healing for my soul. For many of us this connection is enhanced by the creation of special spaces that are specially designed to strengthen these connections. Even the small contemplative gardens I create to sit on my desk provide inspiration, refreshment and at times healing as I sit and meditate on them. I am one of a growing number of people around the planet that finding themselves drawn into the contemplative nature of gardens. I hope that this list of books will help all of us enter more deeply into this aspect of gardening.
Creativity, Contemplation and Gardening
- Inheriting Paradise: Meditations on Gardening by Vigen Guroian. A delightful collection of garden meditations from an Orthodox Christian perspective.
- Gardens for the Soul by Pamela Woods. A beautifully illustrated book that provides great insights on designing outdoor spaces using ancient symbols, healing plants and Feng shui.
- Rooted in the Spirit: Exploring Inspirational Gardens by Maureen Gilmer. This is another beautifully illustrated and very practical book that helps you link your gardening to spirituality.
- Cultivating Sacred Space – Gardening for the Soul by Elizabeth Murray. This book invites us into sacred gardens at every season giving inspiration and ideas for our own sacred spaces.
- Everyday Sanctuary A Workbook for Designing a Sacred Garden Space by Jessi Bloom. This is an informative workbook that helps you design sacred space in the garden.
- Landscapes of Prayer by Margaret Silf. A beautiful book of prayer reflections exploring 9 different natural landscapes
- Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for A Modern World by John O’Donohue. A treasure that celebrates the beauty and mystery of everyday things.
- Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness by Mary Reynolds Thompson. A journey into five great landscapes of our world that reconnects us to a rich source of wisdom, healing and wholeness.
- All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings by Gayle Boss. Twenty-five meditations reflecting on how wild animals adapt when darkness descends.
- Morning Altars by Day Schildkret. The best process I have found for contemplative practice with nature.
- Earth, Our Original Monastery by Christine Valters Painter.
- Farming While Black by Leah Penniman. Not explicitly Christian, but makes connections between racial and environmental justice/reconciliation.
- The Sanctuary Garden: Creating a Place of Refuge in Your Yard or Garden by Christopher Forrest McDowell and Tricia Clark-McDowell
- When the Trees Say Nothing: Writings on Nature by Thomas Merton
- Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- The Inward Garden: Creating a Place of Beauty and Meaning by Julie Moir Messervy
- The Pursuit of Paradise by Jane Brown
- Monastic Gardens by Mick Hales
- Upstream by Mary Oliver
- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
- The Well Gardened Mind by Sue Steward-Smith