These books focus on observing nature through the year. Dip in and discover how the seasons change what we see, smell and experience. We live in a modern society that eats strawberries in winter, and forget to notice that we in reality live in a world of seasons. Actually there are more than four, but that’s for another post!
Nature Tonic: A Year in My Mindful Life is a beautiful workbook by a Dutch artist, who invites us to a daily dose of ecotherapy, to soothe our souls. Practical prompts entwine with meditative notes on the zen of forest bathing, the simple pleasures of botanical drawing and ways to reconnect our souls with the soil. Watch a fern unroll, sleep in a hammock on a summer evening, or greet the morning sun.
A Year in the Wild is a beautiful book by artist Helen Ahpornsiri, who transforms petals, leaves and seeds into bounding hares, swooping swallows and fluttering butterflies. Helen’s other book Beneath the Waves takes a journey through the oceans, again made entirely from hand-pressed plants: silky seaweeds, feathery algae and bright coastal blooms, turned into playful penguins, scuttling crabs and schools of silvery sharks.
Orchard: A Year in England’s Eden spends a year in one orchard, as rotting windfall apples and frost lie thick on the ground. A chattering blanket of starlings descend on last year’s fruit – joining bramblings, blackbirds, angry-faced waxwings and intoxicated fieldfares who (drunk on fermented berries) fight over rotting real estate. Find bumble and solitary bees apartment-hunting in April, spotted flycatchers migrating in May, redstarts, hedgehogs and owls nesting in June, and cider-making in autumn.