Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden by Dan Pearson

One of the great joys of the gardening year is the fact that the garden forces you to pay attention to the here and now.

Dan Pearson, Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden

Dan Pearson is a gardener and a writer. For years he was a columnist at The Observer. A book Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden is a miscellany of those columns ordered by month. I’m in love with this book.

My English needs a lot of improvement. It is hard for me to read books in English and the language of this particular book is definitely not a simple one. But vocabulary struggle is just clearly outweighed by the joy of the text’s actual meaning. The way Dan Pearson is talking about a garden resonates with me so much. His writing radiates some special delicate attitude towards nature. It inspires to value qualities and transformations of natural things.  And it is certainly not about being just passive bystander but about actively engaging with the world in flux. It fills me with enthusiasm.

There are no photos. And surprisingly this is the virtue of the book. Author’s vivid portraits give you a really deep sense of observation. He draws attention to details and makes you feel like you’re a real witness of all these beauty and wonders.

For me, as a novice gardener, Natural Selection is also packed with precious knowledge about plants and design. Sure enough, Dan Pearson is a world-class expert and I’d be not surprised with some sense of superiority between lines. But there is no anything close to it. Reading this book is an experience similar to an intimate conversation with a friend. 

The icing on the cake: the actual hardcover edition is gorgeous. Dark green ink, beautiful monochrome illustrations for each month and overall quality of the object make it impossible to resist reading..

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