Tanya Anderson

Make the most of your backyard biosphere, says author

Tanya Anderson writes and broadcasts about green living. She has a new book coming out in April encouraging people to make the most of their 'backyard biosphere' and she tells us about it:

We are so incredibly lucky to live on the Isle of Man. Beautiful vistas, crashing waves, wildness, and quiet forested paths. You can walk through a glen, in the hills, or along the shore and see hardly a soul.

Yet, there are enough people to make positive changes for our little rock in the Irish sea. There’s support for local farmers, local food, clean water, and a great deal of community spirit.

For all its problems, the Island is an oasis of peace in a chaotic and troubled world. Having a smaller place to work with means that doing well by it can be much easier. Be that an island, a home, or a back garden.

I think that when people imagine global issues, that they can think of faraway places. And if local, they perhaps visualise the greater town, city, or region. Thinking big can be overwhelming, and ways for a single person to make an impact can seem challenging.

In gazing further than we can personally reach, we can forget about the land that we have stewardship over right now—our gardens.

By changing our perspective, that area can be ground zero for positive changes for the environment and well-being. Our garden choices directly affect soil health, wildlife habitat, and the quality of food on the table.

I speak about this in the introduction of my new book, A Woman’s Garden: Grow Beautiful Plants and Make Useful Things.

As our living spaces and growing spaces become smaller and smaller, people are choosing to use whatever outdoor area they have to grow a healthier life. Turfed lawns transformed into places to grow wholesome food, pollinator-friendly flowers, herbal medicine, natural dyes, and plants that can be all of those and look good, too.

These are gardens spilling over with abundance and the hum and buzz of life. If more of us took up the challenge, each of our backyards could become a vital puzzle piece for the greater biosphere.

The gardening style that I focus on in the book is one that I’ve noticed women excelling at in particular. That’s why I feature eight women and their gardens throughout its chapters. It’s my way to give a platform for real women with beautiful and abundant growing spaces and a way to show that creating your own garden oasis is possible.

The plant-based projects and recipes that follow show just how exciting growing useful plants can be too. Focusing on wellness for both ourselves and our patch of land at the back of the house gives us a starting place to broaden our environmental ambitions.

A Woman’s Garden: Grow Beautiful Plants and Make Useful Things will be released in April 2021 and is available to order through local and major online booksellers.

Website: Lovely Greens

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