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  • Published: 14 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473574960
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

Seed to Dust

A Gardener's Story

A wonderful, life-enhancing book which follows a year in the life of a professional gardener and the relationship he has with the woman who employs him to look after her 12-acre garden.


'A wholly original, semi-autobiographical book on how to live, how to be calm and content with only a little, in a quietly humming garden' Daily Mail
Any garden belongs to everyone who sees it - it is like a book and everybody who visits it will find different things.
Marc Hamer has designed and nurtured 12 acres of garden for over two decades. It is rarely visited so he is the only person who fully knows its secrets; but it is not his own. His relationship with the garden's owner is both distant and curiously intimate, steeped in the mysterious connection which exists between two people who inhabit the same space in very different ways.

In this life-enhancing book Marc takes us month-by-month through his experiences both working in the garden and outside it, as the seasons' changes bring new plants and wildlife to the fore and lead him to reflect on his past and future. Through his peaceful and meditative prose we learn about gardening folklore and wisdom, the joys of manual labour, his path from solitary homelessness to family contentment and the cycle of growth and decay that runs through both the garden's life and our own.

Beautifully illustrated, Seed to Dust is a moving and restorative account of a life lived in harmony with nature.

You've seen gates like that at the side of the road, you've wondered what's behind them. They really are the entrance to the wonders you imagined.

  • Published: 14 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473574960
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 416

About the author

Marc Hamer

Marc Hamer was born in the North of England and moved to Wales over thirty years ago. After spending a period homeless, then working on the railway, he returned to education and studied fine art in Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent. He has worked in art galleries, marketing, graphic design and taught creative writing in a prison before becoming a gardener. His first book, A Life in Nature; or How to Catch a Mole, was longlisted for the Wainwright Prize.

Also by Marc Hamer

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Praise for Seed to Dust

Written as a monthly journal, this is more memoir and philosophical meditation than gardener's manual... Hamer uses the material all around - robins and crows, beeches and cherry trees, jasmine, daffodils and soil - as the springboard for reflections on how to live a small-scale, spiritually aware life. ...making the case for seeing our place within nature, and relishing our contact with it.


Hamer takes the reader through his gardening year... Marc Hamer's gardening memoir offers an insight into what it is like to tend somebody else's plot, and how an unusual relationship blossomed...Seed to Dust is a bodily book. Hamer lets us in; we learn what his tools feel like in hands hardened by decades of manual labour...But it is also an unlikely love story: Hamer is happily married to Peggy, who we hear about, too, but his affection for Miss Cashmere, his elderly employer, is clear - and infectious.


[A] life-enhancing book

Eastern Daily Press

Inspirational... An invaluably original view of one man in his garden...noticing the tiny things that the busy world ignores... A wholly original book on how to live, how to be calm and content with only a little, in a quietly humming garden

Daily Mail

Seed to Dust draws on Hamer's deep sense of connection with plants and the earth as well as a lifetime of experience. Beautifully observed and quietly reflective, this is an absorbing and life-affirming read

Sue Stuart-Smith, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Well-Gardened Mind

Chapters...shimmer like lantern slides, lit with luminous imagery... Seed to Dust is an invitation to read this world as Mr. Hamer does - with a close eye to what changes, and what does not

Wall Street Journal

[An] absorbing combination of memoir, gardening folklore and natural history... This book provides insight into both the secrets of a garden and the experiences of the person caring for it

Country Life

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