341: Mary Reynolds on Care of Earth, Food and Nature.

Bringing awareness of the beauty of nature.

Mary grew up on a small mixed farm in Wexford, in the south of Ireland and eventually set up her own company designing gardens in Dublin. A few years later, and having lost the will to live from constantly creating modern gardens, she realized that she could no longer continue shaping land in the same way and thus re-imagined her work to become nature rather than human centered.

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She brought her new, still relatively unformed ideas to be showcased at the Chelsea flower show in London where she achieved a gold medal, unusual at the time for a first-time effort. Since that time, Mary has built up quite a cult following in the world of garden design and is considered unique in her field.  She eventually decided it was time to rethink the whole relationship we had with land and re-examine what it truly means to design in harmony with nature. This led to her book ‘The Garden Awakening – Designs to Nurture Our Land and Ourselves’

In This Podcast:

Connecting with nature is so natural to Mary Reynolds, that when life got  busy and bogged her down to the point that she forgot to make it a priority, she actually felt ‘squished’.  Mary’s story of winning the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show was told in the movie Dare to Be Wild. Here we learn more about her special relationship with nature and how she hopes to teach and inspire others to develop their own connection, for the good of all.

Listen in and learn about:

  • Feeling lost and when she moved to Dublin not sure what was wrong
  • The dream she had that helped her realize everything she was doing with gardens was wrong
  • What she did realize gardens were supposed to be
  • Her struggle to get people to understand what she was trying to accomplish
  • Competing in the Chelsea Garden Show
  • Learning how to work in harmony with nature
  • Recovering from being squished by life
  • Determining that she wanted her story to be made into a film
  • Taking a risk on Vivienne de Courcy as a new script writer, to write her story
  • Being inspired by Deepak Chopra’s Seven spiritual laws of success
  • Working around the hurdles to get into the Chelsea Flower Show
  • Her book about designing from and working in harmony nature
  • The three things – how to work with magic, how to listen to what land wants to become, and how to turn you land into a universal postbox
  • The principles she hopes to educate about
  • The beauty of her book The Garden Awakening

As well as:

  • Her failure – managing to be a good parent when her children were small
  • Her success – her book because it resonates as truth for her
  • Her drive – her absolute love of the earth, and her absolute horror at the pain of the creatures of the earth
  • Her advice – If you are lucky enough to have some land, allow that land to become what it wants. Plant trees and food, you cant go wrong with that

Books written by Mary:

The Garden Awakening: Designs to Nurture Our Land and Ourselves

Mary’s Book recommendations:  

The Global Forest: Forty Ways Trees Can Save Us by Diana Beresford-Kroeger

How to reach Mary:

Website: www.marymary.ie

Producer’s Note:  Check out Vivienne de Courcys interview HERE

This episode was sponsored by The Food Revolution Summit. Visit www.urbanfarm.org/summit to support our show and learn more.


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  1. Mary Reynolds’ name and wild Nature-loving reality are shared by all my friends in deep, joyful conversations lately, and even with new friends. Since I found “Dare to Be Wild” on Netflix last week, I have watched it 4 times, with 2 friends and met two young women yesterday who were on fire about the message, as they felt called to live it. They, too, had just seen the film on Maui, so it is spreading. Nature cares to be heard this way.
    Wild Nature is calling us all Home. It is time. I began 28 years ago, steeping in ways to build an earth dome home (calearth.org) & training with Celtic Mystic (from Ireland) Ger Lyons (gerlyons.net — Global Healing Events) becoming myself more and more, embodying Nature’s wild wisdom, and then I dove into being certified and learning Permaculture in 2001. This all informs and allows humans to learn their place as observers first, being stewards and taking action based on the reality of ever-expanding beauty, abundance and resilience. Thank God. Thank Mary! I am so grateful for the hopeful, life-giving, inspiring work and vision Mary Reynolds shares. Life feels horrendous disconnected from the beauty of our true Nature as stewards, one with Nature. Aloha!, Claire

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