This book came to my notice through a rather impressive little chain. Piet Oudolf recommended it to me, after Rick Darke had recommended it to him. I’d like to use it today to develop a train of thought that first came to me years ago. It’s also very relevant to my last blog posting here about native and exotic plants, and in a way continues the discussion.
Written by a science writer (Emma Marris) – ‘Rambunctious Garden’ tackles the fact that there is virtually no ‘untouched nature’ left on the planet, and that an awful lot of what we call nature is heavily managed by humanity or was trashed by our ancestors, often a very long time ago or is the result of non-native species setting out and creating entirely novel ecosystems. Marris discusses how many of these new ecosystems actually function very well, and not always in competition with natives, and there is much here to counter the more lurid fantasies of the ‘natives only’ lobby, as well as to highlight just how much, and for how long, the human race has been changing life on earth. Well-written, firmly evidence-based, level-headed, open-minded and packed with intriguing examples, the author paints a picture of a rapidly-changing ‘natural’ world which she describes as a ‘rambunctious garden’. She does not take the garden analogy any further, so I will here.