Book review: The Wellness Garden by Shawna Coronado.

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Shawna Coronado – The Wellness Garden (2017, Cool Springs Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc., Minnesota)

I actually wrote an article about this topic for Herb Quarterly magazine this year (“Designing a Wellness Garden,” Fall 2017), but of course, my measly two thousand words doesn’t even come close to encapsulating all of the immense detail and information Shawna Coronado has gathered for her book The Wellness Garden: Grow, Eat, and Walk Your Way to Better Health. I hugely enjoyed researching what are sometimes termed “welltality” gardens for my article – there are many facets to these types of designs, where healing, rejuvenation, and healthy maintenance of the whole body and mind is emphasized.

Shawna Coronado’s fight against her own chronic illness and pain was the inspiration behind The Wellness Garden; despite suffering from osteoarthritis, she didn’t stop gardening when the pain became too much.  She realized the benefits of being outdoors, of keeping active, and of tending and harvesting her own healthy food crops – and the point of her book is to encourage others to turn to (or keep on!) gardening as a way to cope and heal and stay fit and focused (and more positive!) in the face of illnesses such as arthritis and depression.  Gorgeously presented, thorough (and thoughtful) research, and meaningful, practical solutions make The Wellness Garden a stand-out: Coronado covers everything from fragrance/sensory and therapeutic garden designs, to selecting and growing nutrient- and vitamin-packed edibles (including tips for composting and boosting soil health), and choosing and using ergonomic, safe, and appropriate garden tools that don’t stress the body.  The second part of the book is specifically devoted to fitness: walking outdoors, and yoga practice (as well as breathing exercises), meant to be undertaken in the garden.  Frequent interaction with nature is key, as there is no doubt about the benefits of being outdoors and the way it elevates mood and well-being.  This valuable book will inspire you to get out there and enjoy your garden even more!

*Quarto Publishing generously provided me with a review copy of The Wellness Garden, but as always, my opinions are 100 percent my own.

Giveaway Winner Announcement – Shawna Coronado’s book Grow a Living Wall!

Drum roll please….

The winner of a copy of Shawna Coronado‘s new book Grow a Living Wall is Boomdee!  Congratulations!  Boomdee, please let me know your mailing address (you can e-mail me directly using the form on my ‘Contact’ page) and I will get the book out to you this week!  I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you to everyone for participating in the giveaway – it was so great to read all of your comments and ideas for living walls.  (And thank you once again to the publishers – Cool Springs Press/Quarto Publishing Group USA, Quayside Publishing Group – for the books!).

Have a wonderful week!

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A tropical-themed living wall in Calgary’s Devonian Gardens

Book Review and Giveaway – Shawna Coronado’s Grow a Living Wall!

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Shawna Coronado – Grow a Living Wall (2015, Cool Springs Press/Quarto Publishing Group USA, Quayside Publishing Group)

According to the book’s subtitle, Shawna Coronado’s Grow a Living Wall focuses on “vertical gardens with purpose” – and, boy, does it ever, with imaginative style and flair.  Featuring twenty themed designs, including walls for bees and other pollinators, veggies and herbs, and aromatherapy, I was instantly taken with the sumptuous photography and the creativity of the ideas.  There is a vertical garden here for every size and space:  fabric pocket gardens, mini gardens for instant curb appeal, and moss and fern arrangements for shady spots.  There are gardens made from old pallets and sparkling glass mason jars – and my personal favourite, a repurposed bookcase mounted on a fence (I do work at a library, after all!).  🙂 You’ll find a therapeutic herb garden, a mixologist’s dream garden, one with houseplants for the indoor office, and several plans ideal for the patio or deck or a glamourous outdoor room.  Coronado does a fantastic job of offering clear, easy to follow, step-by-step building instructions, recipes for plant selection and complete care and maintenance tips.  If you have a small space or just want to grow “up,” you’ll love the designs and ideas in Grow a Living Wall.

(The publisher generously provided copies of Grow a Living Wall for me to review, but I was not compensated for my opinion).

I have one extra copy of Shawna Coronado’s Grow a Living Wall to give away!  If you’re interested, please leave me a comment below – you can tell me what type of living wall you’d like to create (or have created!) in your garden, or just drop me a “count me in,” or “yes,” for your chance to win.  Contest closes at midnight, MST, on Friday, May 15, 2015. (And yes, it is open to everyone!).  I will announce the winner on Monday, May 18, 2015.