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Seed to Dust Reviews

Seed to Dust by Marc Hamer, Jonathan Ashworth

Seed to Dust: A Gardener's Story

Marc Hamer, Jonathan Ashworth

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Harvill Secker
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 14 Jan 2021
ISBN: 9781787302068

Any garden belongs to everyone who sees it - it is like a book and everybody who visits it will find different things. Marc Hamer has designed and nurtured 12 acres of garden for over two decades.

3 stars out of 5
14 Jan 2021

"an invaluably original view of one man in his garden"

For more than two decades, Marc Hamer has tended a garden that he doesn’t own. Now he has published what feels more or less like his private gardening journal, in sections with titles such as Pruning Roses, Swifts Arrive and Solstice. But this is no how-to guide — unless perhaps you classify it as a wholly original, semi-autobiographical book on how to live, how to be calm and content with only a little, in a quietly humming garden. And Hamer knows a thing or two about living with little — indeed, living with more or less nothing apart from the ragged clothes he stood up in.

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
26 Dec 2020

"From a hardscrabble childhood and vagrancy to the life‑enhancing rewards of nurturing both 12 acres and an unusual friendship"

“I’m on my knees, weeding, and the plants and the soil and I seem to flow into and out of each other,” he writes of the dandelion incident. That airy “flow” is often desired; but Hamer’s more earthed writing is stronger – more brutal, angry even (despite protestations to the contrary) and better for coming through his “rough, grubby fingers”. One time he reaches for his wood-axe from behind his car seat when caught up in a road-rage incident driving home from the garden. He tells this story not entirely against himself.