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Filled with charmingly rustic illustrations of people, plants and animals, this story about community and biodiversity introduces children to the variety of ways things can grow and flourish in nature.
In the village of Mirren, a tidy community garden is carefully organized and tended by the townspeople. On the other side of the garden wall is a wild patch of land— a jumble of trees, a pond, and tall grassy places. While the garden is cared for in different ways throughout the seasons, Jilly and her grandfather like to visit the wild place, foraging for mushrooms, asparagus, and nuts, and watching the insects, birds and other animals. When the townspeople decide they need a bigger garden, they make plans to expand beyond the wall into the wild place. Worried about what will happen to their special piece of nature, Jilly and her grandfather come up with a plan, inviting the townspeople to discover a new kind of gardening. Their plan works and the wild place and the community garden merge harmoniously; the bees pollinate the crops, berry bushes take over a garden corner, pumpkins grow along the pond, and delicious herbs appear among the ferns. Cynthia Cliff’s lovingly detailed illustrations reveal the joys of every kind of garden, while her story offers endless opportunities to talk about healthy eating, nature, ecological gardening, and friendship.