Cultivating Chaos : Gardening with Self-Seeding Plants, Paperback Book

Cultivating Chaos : Gardening with Self-Seeding Plants Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Cultivating Chaos reveals how gardeners can make their own natural landscape gardens using self-seeding plants.

The authors showcase iconic gardens such as Great Dixter, Waltham Place and Derek Jarman's garden at Dungeness where self-seeders have been managed to create informal but disciplined garden spaces.

They provide extensive information on how to improve soil to maximise germination of these naturally vigorous plants and recommend selfseeders for different sites and conditions.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192 pages, 200 colour photos
  • Publisher: Timber Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Gardening: plants
  • ISBN: 9781604696523



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Perhaps the title makes this subliminally difficult to penetrate. I had to finally resort to the contents pages in order to enter the book. Reading small sections of chapters helped me to navigate the concepts. Some of this is common sense, other parts are kinda weird – why would you want to establish a gravel bed to plant in? That seems like a lot of effort for a bed that will forever struggle with weeds. And the idea of encouraging rampant overgrowth on paved areas is anathema to me.I have always gardened from abundance and serendipity. My town garden has had moving drifts of ‘the Pearl’ for decades. And Sundrops and Sweet Peas are welcomed almost anywhere they desire. But perennials make more sense for gardening with little time to spare. I do think I will try to establish more flower varieties in my meadow, and I will try cutting fennel into bush shapes in my beds. And, oh! Winter aconite introduced into the woods – I can do that. I’ve already got Monarda freely re-seeding from the garden, and all sorts of native flowers growing in waves in the wild parts of my property. The book is worth looking at for a few good ideas.