A Greener Life – by Jack Wallington

BOOK REVIEW AND MY BBC LOCAL RADIO BOOK OF THE WEEK

Published by Laurence King, March 2022

Hardback, 192 pages, £19.99

ISBN: 978-085782-893-4

A Greener Life is much more than a ‘how-to-garden’ book, it’s actually a revealing diary of the writer’s journey from a stressful life and illness, to peace and calm through creating a garden and connecting with nature.

Jack Wallington writes how he struggled to sleep, was regularly ill and felt as if he’d ‘lost his way’ as he tried to keep up, and be available 24/7. “I thought the feeling of dissatisfaction was normal, to be waited out until retirement.” The turning point was the day Jack and his partner Chris planted the first trees, shrubs and bulbs in their new garden. “My worries briefly melted away, and a spark of happiness ignited.”

Jack says childhood memories trickled back, memories of sowing tomato and nasturtium seeds and taking cacti cuttings to sell for pocket money.

Through simply planting a garden he was better able to deflect stresses and anxieties and seemingly insurmountable problems at work . “Life, all life, the thing I had loved as a boy, that had been around me all along, was helping my world make sense. I had euphoric moments when discovering other gardens and visiting countryside. I began to feel connected to something bigger than me, and that somehow the things I planted and cared for were making a real contribution. The more I planted in the garden, the more insects and birds visited. Inviting nature back into my life gave a peace I hadn’t experienced for thirty years, and opened my eyes to the responsibility I had to the ecosystem I was nurturing.”

Jack’s book contains seven chapters. The first chapter outlines nine steps to a greener gardening life, and is almost a book in itself. Chapter two is about ‘getting started’ easy planting guides and essential tools you’ll need. Chapter three, encouraging beautiful ecosystems. Chapter four focuses on creating a wildlife -friendly garden, bringing soil to life and attracting and sustaining insect life.

Chapter five focuses on greening indoor spaces and greening workspaces.

Chapter six talks about herbs for wellness, growing vegetables, fruit and edible flowers.

Chapter seven is about connecting with nature, exploring wild areas in the city and countryside. There’s a section on using binoculars, cameras, smartphones and field guides and magnifying glasses- a useful guide to equipping yourself to delve deeper into the natural world.

A Greener Life is an honest, well-written account of self-discovery, and Jack’s voice comes over loud and clear in this beautifully put together book. You’ll certainly learn how to create nature-friendly gardens, but you will also perhaps pause for thought at what good can come from connecting with gardens and wildlife. In these stressful and strife-ridden days, this can only be a very good thing indeed.

Jack’s book is really everything you’d ever need to be a greener gardener. It’s written from the heart, from someone who’s found out for himself that gardens, gardening and being in touch with nature really can make a difference. Jack says “ We’re part of the natural world and to save it is to save ourselves. We all benefit from a greener life.”

The publishers have kindly given one copy to give away. Leave a message in the comments box below and one name will be selected randomly by 26 March. Sorry, the offer is only open to readers in the UK.

17 thoughts on “A Greener Life – by Jack Wallington

  1. As one you works amongst nature every day, and sees the beneficial effect it has on most of our visitors, I am sure this would be a truly an inspirational ‘Handbook’ for anyone wanting to find Peace and Tranquillity amongst Nature!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Vanessa. Very true. And needed more than ever at the moment. I’m all for finding peace and tranquility through nature. And this ‘handbook’ is highly recommended. Thanks for reading my review. Hope you are enjoying some of this lovely sunny weather. Have a great gardening day!

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    • Thank you Shaun. Hope all’s well with you and your gardening. Thanks so much for reading the review. It’s a really inspiring and positive book. I felt a bit better about the world after reading it. Which at the moment can only be a good thing. All the best. Take care. Karen

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      • I’m well Karen, and just loving this pleasant weather at the moment. I planted a few trees over the winter so really looking forward to see how they do. I know what you mean about “feeling a bit better about the world”. I keep reminding myself of the quote “to plant a garden is to believe in the future”

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    • Thank you Amelia. I so agree with you. I must admit, I care more about the garden than the house. I could live anywhere, if I could transport my garden with me. Thanks for reading the review. Hope all’s well with you and your gardening. Take care. Karen x

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  2. I really appreciated Jack’s first book ‘Wild about weeds’, and this one looks even better. Thank you for your thoughtful, comprehensive review of the book. Gardening & trying to learn to be in tune with nature has been my sanity life line for decades, so I wish Jack success with his book. Peaceful, happy gardening to you & your readers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Michelle. I always try to look behind the book to find out the motivation for writing it. The best books are always the ones written with honesty and from the heart. Thank you for your kind comments. I’m glad to hear gardening has been a life-line for you. It’s kept me upbeat through difficult times too. Wishing you a peaceful and happy week. I hope there’s sunshine where you are. All the best. Karen

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  3. Oh, my, what a beautiful book! Being in touch with nature has always been the underlying gardening motivation for me, and now maybe even more so as l am limited to a small garden space having had to downsize to a condo. I suspect that there is much in Jack’s book that can be enjoyed even by the small space gardener! Thanks fir letting us know of it.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mary. And you are right, every little helps and there’s lots you can do with small space gardening. I grow a lot of fruit and vegetables in containers. This year I am also growing wild flowers in 10” pots, a sort of mini mobile meadow! I shall line them up all along the gravel paths. Thanks for reading my review and leaving a comment. Have a great gardening week!

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    • Thank you Suella. It’s certainly a calming and soothing book, a green and glorious world to immerse yourself into. Much needed, at the moment, as you say. Thanks for reading and getting in touch.

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