Non-Zen Elements

Tales of an eccentric garden guru

Wendy Johnson

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I MET MY TAPROOT garden teacher, Alan Chadwick, twenty-six years ago at the end of his life. He had less than six months to live and he knew it. He was a gaunt, kingly man, seventy-one years old and impossibly handsome. A mixture of Old Testament prophet and renegade monk in the tradition of Ikkyu, Alan inhabited the still-fiery body and mind of an aristocratic mad English gardener and a Shakespearean actor. Although prostate cancer was ravaging his body, Alan had come home to Green Gulch not to die but to live out and teach his remaining days.

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