Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World

Posted on 16/04/2020

‘The wisest book I’ve read for many years. Such a captivating blend of knowledge, practicality, insight, experience and truthfulness is very rare. Much more than a gardening book, much more than a guide to better mental health, it is a wholly convincing story of how troubled minds might find a way of reconnecting to themselves and rebuilding confidence and hope by way of nature. Hugely recommended.’

How can getting outdoors, even for a short time, help us to look after our mental health?

In a powerful combination of contemporary neuroscience, psychoanalysis and brilliant storytelling, THE WELL-GARDENED MIND (click to buy from at a discount) investigates the magic that many gardeners have known for years… working with nature can radically transform our health, wellbeing and confidence.

  • Prisoners given the chance to grow plants are less likely to reoffend
  • At-risk young people who get their hands in the soil are more likely to stay in education.
  • Elderly people who garden live longer and have a better quality of life

Sue Stuart-Smith, prominent psychiatrist and wife of Tom Stuart-Smith, the celebrated garden designer, tells brilliant, illuminating stories of people struggling with stress, depression, trauma and addiction.  You can listen to Sue on Radio 4’s Start the Week here.

This is a glorious book of science, insight and anecdote that shows how our understanding of nature and its restorative powers is only just beginning to flower.

Why it’s important you buy books now and don’t wait until COVID-19 is over

The book trade – like all non-essential retail, but particularly a section that has seen struggles over the last decade or two – is in desperate need of help.  Your help.

There are easy online alternatives to Amazon if you’re worried about ethical issues – though we also recognise that economic factors mean some bookbuyers can’t afford to be choosy: Audible (read by Sue herself) and Kindle are cheaper than a new HB, and in lockdown, both are sensible choices.  But if you want to read the physical book and hold it in your hands then buy with a discount from:


Buy books. Help bookshops stay open. Allow writers to continue writing the books you love.

‘A compelling and deeply moving account of how profoundly our wellbeing can be affected through contact with gardening and the natural world. This is a timely call of return. Read it.’

‘An important and timely book … Sue Stuart-Smith’s book is beautifully written drawing on a lifetime’s experience as both as a clinician and a gardener, and I urge everyone to read it’

‘Her writing has the simple grace of someone who really knows her subject and how best to explain it… Her deep understanding of the human psyche makes this a perfect source text as well as an engrossing read.’
Gardens Illustrated