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An Ecology of Enchantment

A Year in the Life of a Garden

Regular price $21.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781553653707
  • Tags: Des Kennedy, Nature & Environment,
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 7.5
  • Published On: 1/17/2008
  • 336 Pages

In Crazy About Gardening, Des Kennedy led happy readers down the garden path with a series of wisely funny essays on the wonderful idiosyncrasies of gardening and gardeners. In An Ecology of Enchantment, Des swings open his own garden gate once again to reflect on The natural rhythms and rumblings of a country garden.

The book captures the seasonal rhythms of his remarkable natural garden on BC's beautiful Denman Island. The 52 sections follow the seasonal cycle week by week, beginning in winter dormancy, awakening to new life in spring, swelling into the lushness of summer, then gradually declining into melancholy, mold, and memories with the season of dying-away.

Des despairs about broken trees and shrubs damaged by a massive snowstorm, then immediately discovers a silver lining, using the storm as a convenient cover-up for years of inadequate tree pruning. "A killer snowstorm every once in a while is a real boon to bad pruners," he enthuses. He talks about enjoying the stoneworks in his garden and his own "romance with the stone." "It's no mystery to veteran stone croppers how the great pyramids were put together, or Stonehenge, or all the rest, not with several thousand dullards like myself all juiced on testosterone for the moving of stone." Sniffing about the current vogue for gardening fashion statements he writes: "here the whole idea seems to be not so much that one actually gets out there and mucks around doing dirty work but rather that one is fashionably attired in such a way as to suggest that brute physical labor is altogether possible." Despite his witty self-deprecation. Des Kennedy also sees the profound beauty and practical truths that nature provides, his astuteobservations and intelligent, literary musings offering us a pathway into a rich and romantic garden delight.

Des Kennedy is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, author and environmental activist. He is the author of four books of essays, including The Passionate Gardener, a memoir and three novels, including Climbing Patrick's Mountain. Noted as one of the most influential personalities on the Canadian gardening scene, Des writes a regular column for GardenWise magazine and has been a columnist for the Globe and Mail. Des lives on Denman Island, BC.


"Most of us can only dream of a garden as verdant and thriving as the one Des Kennedy keeps. An Ecology of Enchantment is a captivating account of the pains and pleasures that come hand in hand with keeping a garden . . . The amusing, enlightening stories are infused with inspiring insights and tongue-in-cheek humor, gruesome yet satisfying hand-to-hand combat with wretched pests, imagined encounters with famous poets as they effusively rhapsodize about bright poppy blooms, the art of dehydrating fruit, and a gardener's indisputable right to wear shabby clothes, among others." -Victoria Magazine

"This gardening memoir reads like a novel that takes us on a one-year journey through the life of a garden. The author, a master gardener and storyteller, has tips and resources for gardeners who want to live the gardening experience to the fullest . . . " -Via Destinations Magazine