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The Gardener’s Way To
Grow Your Own Happiness

Use gardening skills to cultivate yourself

Helping people develop their own resilience:
new, much-needed book ready to publish!

I am delighted to say I have completed the manuscript for a unique book, helping people cultivate their own wellbeing using the principles of gardening. I’m now approaching publishers – there is a big need and a big market and if you are in this sector or know someone who may be interested in publishing it, please contact me. I’d also welcome contacts from producers of video, TV and audio programmes, and trainers, who’d like to use this approach. I can offer extensive promotional support. The book is called:

The Gardener’s Way To
Grow Your Own Happiness

Use gardening skills to cultivate yourself

by Alan Heeks


In these stormy times, this book will help people to dig deep and stay cheerful: it shows how gardening methods – for example, composting, mulching, crop rotation and more – can be translated into cultivating human nature too.
A gardener uses such skills as observation, patience and creativity, and we can adapt these skills to help deal with daily stresses and big issues like climate change. My approach is positive and practical, easy to use for gardeners of every level.


Grow Your Own Happiness is based on what I call the Seven Seeds of Natural Happiness, which have developed from 20 years’ experience of creating gardens, an organic farm and a conservation woodland. They are:
1. Nourish your roots, and your ground condition.
2. Use natural energy sources, like appreciation and enthusiasm.
3. Compost your troubles: turn setbacks into useful energy!
4. Co-creative problem-solving: invent new ways to work with challenges.
5. Cultivating community: learn from gardens how to connect with groups.
6. Grow through climate change: how humans and Nature can grow resilience.
7. Natural inspiration: find purpose and perspective through Nature.


This approach has developed from my own experiences of founding an organic farm/education centre; from our garden at home; from establishing a successful conservation woodland; from researching food security and environmental stresses on people and communities; from handling the demands of a high-pressure business career; and from learning to build my own resilience using the natural world around me as inspiration.


The overall audience is the 22 million gardeners in Britain, and I am particularly focused on:
• People who are stressed by Covid and other life-work challenges, and who would like help but are reluctant to turn to conventional self-help books.

• Those who are aware and concerned about climate change and its impacts on them and more widely, but feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn for help and advice.

• People who already have some awareness of resilience skills for themselves and their community, and would like to explore this further in a really accessible way.

Again, for any support, advice or feedback please feel free to get in touch.

Not Fade Away - staying happy when you’re over 64

The late sixties and beyond are a landmark: a good time to choose what you want from the years ahead, and take stock of the story so far. This short, practical book offers you valuable guidance, new skills, and resources to help you to be happy in your vintage years and grow through the tough bits.

Chapters about Finding Your Gifts include Love Me Do on relationships, and Born to be Wild on fresh adventures. Digging Your Challenges includes Good Vibrations on managing your health, and Matthew and Son on work and money. Fresh Maps includes Won’t Get Fooled Again on changing your story, and My Generation, wisdom from others. If you remember the idealism of the 1960’s, this is a chance to renew it!

Out Of The Woods

This book is a guide for the maturing man: complete with route-finder, service areas, scenic highlights and emergency callout advice. It gathers the best wisdom and experience of many men on enjoying your best years to the full, on the skills you need to handle the losses and shipwrecks, and on how to grow through them. It offers insights, inspiration, practical advice and resources for further help.The aim is simple: enjoy life now!

The Natural Advantage- Renewing Yourself.

This pioneering book translates the principles and practices of organic farming, cultivated natural systems and sustainable development to show how individuals, teams and organisations can grow their resilience to stress, change and uncertainty, and improve their effectiveness and wellbeing.

Alan comments, “There has been huge progress in understanding environmental sustainability in recent decades, but few people recognise that there are similar issues around human sustainability. The human resources in many work organisations are being depleted and polluted in the drive for output: organic farming offers us a simple, vivid, practical model to change this.

The Natural Advantage has been published in the UK, US, Netherlands, Japan and elsewhere. The UK edition: ISBN 18578826-1-X: now out of print in the UK, but available second hand.”

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