Gardening is a primeval urge. From the beginnings of Scripture, we find ourselves in an intimate relationship with the land God has given us. So Adam is placed in the garden of Eden to "till and keep" it, before being exiled to till land elsewhere.
But the closest many modern Britons come to food production is a trip to the local supermarket. Despite our favourite harvest hymns, we are considerably more familiar with the sight of the inside of a refrigerator than the farmer ploughing fields.
Yet there is a great deal of satisfaction in agricultural pursuits. Taking on a plot, the labourer reconnects with nature. With effort and a little luck the results may be beautiful, edible, or both. Monastics, like Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael, have maintained gardens as a source of food, herbs and a space of prayer. So it should be no great surprise to find that modern writers are exploring the spiritual dimension of gardening.