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We Are the ARK: Returning Our Gardens to Their True Nature Through Acts of Restorative Kindness

We Are the ARK: Returning Our Gardens to Their True Nature Through Acts of Restorative Kindness

We Are the ARK: Returning Our Gardens to Their True Nature Through Acts of Restorative Kindness

We Are the ARK: Returning Our Gardens to Their True Nature Through Acts of Restorative Kindness


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“Reynolds gives us a much-needed reason for hope. The gardener, the conservationist, the city planner, and the nature lover will all be inspired for this wonderful book shows how thousands of even small wildlife friendly gardens can provide habitat for embattled wildlife around the world.” —Jane Goodall, Phd, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace 

Individuals can’t save the world alone. But if millions of us work together to save our own patch of earth—then we really have a shot. How do we do it?  With Acts of Restorative Kindness (ARK). An ARK is a restored, native ecosystem. It’s a thriving patch of native plants and creatures that have been allowed and supported to re-establish in the earth's intelligent, successional process of natural restoration. Over time, this becomes a pantry and a habitat for our pollinators and wild creatures who are in desperate need of support.

These ARKs will become the seeding grounds for our planet’s new story. They will be sanctuaries for our shared kin—the rooted and unrooted—and safe havens for the magic and abundance of the natural world. Most importantly, the ARK-building actions are within our control and laid out here in We Are the ARK. In these inspiring pages, discover how one person’s actions can effect big change in this world. Even the tiniest postage stamp patch of land matters! Together we are building a patchwork quilt of life that will wrap its way around this planet.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643261782
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/25/2022
Pages: 276
Sales rank: 63,302
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mary Reynolds is a reformed internationally acclaimed landscape designer. The youngest woman in history to win a gold medal for garden design at the Chelsea flower show in 2002, she has since given that all up to be part of the solution to the crisis we are all living through, the climate and biodiversity collapse. Mary is the bestselling author The Garden Awakening, and a motivational speaker and founder of the global movement We Are The ARK.

Table of Contents

Preface: What This Book Is About 9

ARKs and the Great Remembering 13

Birth of We Are the ARK 15

The Garden Industry and the Great Forgetting 24

Guardians, Not Gardeners 33

The Science Bit and ARKing Aims 37

Our Shifting Baseline 39

Three Basic Laws of Ecology 41

Seeds of Restoration 46

How ARKing Differs from Large-Scale Rewilding 52

ARKing Aims 56

ARK Design and First Steps 63

First Steps in Building Your ARK 65

Landscape ARKitecture for Different Parts of Our Shared Planet 82

The Plants That Build an ARK 93

Why Native Plants? 95

The Plant Layers of an ARK 109

Developing a Diverse ARK Ecosystem 125

Sowing or Restoring an ARK Lawn or Meadow 127

Creating a Woodland System 138

Extra Layers of Creature Support 155

Embrace the Mess! 156

Water Homes 167

Bird and Bat Supports 178

Minding the Tiny and Invisible Kingdoms 187

Reversing Insectageddon 188

The Kingdoms Beneath Our Feet 203

Grow Your Own Food! 213

The Nutty Food System 214

Change from the Ground Up 216

Feed the Soil, Feed Your Body 221

Practices for Food Self-Sufficiency 225

Share and Create a Community 231

Wider ARKevism 233

ARKs on School, Public, and Commercial Lands 235

Political ARKevism 240

Conclusion: Reimagining Living in Harmony 253

Appendix: Getting Started 258

References and Resources 260

Acknowledgments 266

Index 267

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