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The Garden
by Siân Davey

“Why don’t we fill our back garden with wildflowers and bees, and the people we meet over the garden wall – we’ll invite them in to be photographed by you.” This is what my son Luke announced in the kitchen, midwinter, our back garden abandoned for at least ten years. I was sitting at the kitchen table, navigating a family deep in crisis.

What came next was a pilgrimage: an on-going act to cultivate a space grounded in love, a reverential offering to humanity. This is what became The Garden. 

In a short window of time, we worked intensively to clear our long-neglected garden. During the process, we intensively researched native flowers, soil and biodiversity. We sourced organic local seeds and sowed under the moon cycles, bio-dynamically.

We offered prayers along the way. We invited the pollinators and nature spirits. Luke and I obsessively shared our dreams, our insights and visions. We called in our ancestors to support and strengthen our vision. We collected stories from the people we met over the garden wall whilst we worked, which soon came to feel like an intimate, confessional space. 

We then watched the flowers emerge, silently appearing from every corner of the garden. Mullein, meadowsweet, wild carrot, giant sunflowers and thousands of poppies and cornflowers. We built structures for climbing gourds, tromboncinos, and sweet peas to clamber over. 

And as the flowers opened, they called in the community; the mothers and daughters, grandparents, the lonely, the marginalised, teenagers, new lovers, the heartbroken and those that had concealed a lifetime of shame. They became enfolded into the story of the garden, creating and partaking in the story equally. 

As the garden evolved it became an expression of joy, interconnectedness, yearning, sexuality, and defiance. The garden became a metaphor for the human heart itself.  

Those who entered the garden reflected back to me my history and who I had become.

Everyone has a place in our garden. I am the garden. Those who enter are the garden. Without distinction, without separation. 

  • Signed, First Edition Copies
  • 34 x 26cm
  • Hardback clothbound with foiling
  • 112 pages
  • 80 colour illustrations