Book review: The Permaculture Way – Graham Bell

I’d like to recommend a book, which I have only just recently finished and for me it sets out the ethics and principles of permaculture in a way which is accessible, clear and in a very non-judgmental and sensitive way.
I think it is the first permaculture book I have read (and I have now read a few) in which I didn’t have any sense of alienation or ignorance. This book talked to my soul, it triggered memories within, touched me in a profound and yet very simple way. It made sense of what permaculture is; not a movement, not organic gardening, but a healthy, sensible, attainable and all inclusive way of life.
It was written a good few years ago, but the writing and the issues are still as relevant today as they were then (if not even more so) It is written with straightforward language, and aimed at us humans, everywhere, and not just at experts (although I am sure the experts would also learn lots from it) and it is written by Scotland’s resident permaculture teacher. If you haven’t read it then I urge you to do so. It can be bought from permanent publications or probably better still straight from the author, Graham Bell.

I’m also reading the sequel The Permaculture Garden, which is also amazing and makes so much real and grounded sense to me. Excellent for grasping the wider ‘feeling’ of the permaculture ethos, and for speaking to your heart, your head and ultimately your hands.
Pure, natural abundance: a visual and sensual joy to behold. The Cottage Garden in Coldstream Scotland

Pure, natural abundance: a visual and sensual joy to behold. The Cottage Garden in Coldstream Scotland

I made a visit to Graham’s forest garden recently and was blown away by the beauty of the place, it made my heart sing to see so much abundance. It was enough to bring you to tears, of joy and the peace and tranquility it instilled was something that no amount of money or therapy could ever buy. It seemed to me to make everything possible and achievable, effortlessly, although Graham and Nancy have worked very hard over the years cultivating and nurturing their beautiful garden. When I compare this kind of garden to trimmed lawns, neat bushes, rows of flowers or food there is just no comparison. I was reminded of my own mantra ‘organised chaos’ and a real sense of nature just knowing what is best was palpable. I would highly recommend a visit to Graham and Nancy’s garden, it is deeply inspiring and the hosts are more than happy to explain everything with patience and good humour.

Graham will be teaching a course in Scotland in July this year: The Permaculture Way with Graham Bell 27-28th July 2013 –

Graham Bell & Nancy Woodhead's Forest Garden in Coldstream

Graham Bell & Nancy Woodhead’s Forest Garden in Coldstream

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