The wisest book I’ve read for many years. Much more than a gardening book, much more than a guide to better mental health, The Well Gardened Mind is a wholly convincing story of how troubled minds might find a way of reconnecting to themselves and rebuilding confidence and hope by way of nature. Hugely recommended
The Well Gardened Mind by prominent psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Sue Stuart-Smith is an inspirational and authoritative book on mental health and physical labour that teaches us how vital gardening can be as an escape for the brain and how having green fingers can help our minds through movement as well as thought.
In a powerful combination of contemporary neuroscience, psychoanalysis and brilliant storytelling, The Well Gardened Mind investigates the magic that many gardeners have known for years – working with nature can radically transform our health, wellbeing and confidence.
The Well Gardened Mind has attracted significant coverage across the media in recent weeks including a brilliant review in the Saturday Times and a fantastic full-page interview with Sue Stuart-Smith in the Mail on Sunday.
Here’s a selection of praise for this wonderful book:
‘A compelling and deeply moving account of how profoundly our wellbeing can be affected through contact with gardening and the natural world. This is a timely call of return. Read it.’ EDMUND DE WAAL
‘Riveting, inspiring and often very moving, Sue Stuart-Smith’s journey into the therapy of gardening reveals just how deep our connection with nature is, how much we risk when we cut ourselves off from it, and how much we can gain from its restorative power. A lively, compassionate exhortation for us all to get our hands back in the soil.’ ISABELLA TREE
‘This is an important and timely book. Mental health is a growing concern and yet is the least developed, least understood and least well-resourced aspect of medicine. Yet we are increasingly aware that to nurture and tend our gardens is to both cultivate well-being and for many of us, to help heal a troubled mind. Sue Stuart-Smith’s book is beautifully written drawing on a lifetime’s experience as both as a clinician and a gardener, and I urge everyone to read it.’ MONTY DON
‘Fascinating in its content, lyrical, moving and elegantly written, The Well Gardened Mind explores and celebrates the very real connection we humans feel with plants and by extension, our gardens. Stuart-Smith considers the essence of our symbiotic relationship with plants, demonstrated in a universal desire to dig holes, sow seeds, push soil around roots and make things grow… not for reasons of necessity, but out of love. For there’s no denying the extraordinary and often profound benefits to physical and mental wellbeing, and the moments of pure joy we gardeners experience, through the simple act of gardening and garden making.’ RACHEL DE THAME
The Well Gardened Mind