One to read: From What Is To What If


From What Is To What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want by Rob Hopkins, is by no means a gardening book, but with nature and a renewed call to imagine at its core, I simply had to share it.

From What Is To What If by Rob Hopkins; Chelsea Green 2019.

This empowering book is about finding ways of tapping into our wholly supressed and long-forgotten imaginations, to instigate the connected and sustainable change both we and the beautiful landscape we live in so desperately need. Unsurprisingly, author Rob Hopkins writes about gardening and connecting to the natural world as being some of the most significant ways we can achieve this.

Rob witnessed the actuality of releasing the imagination and making the seemingly unattainable possible 10 years ago, when he and a few friends undertook an experiment known as Transition Town Totnes. The experiment focused on community-driven and not government-driven change and asking ‘what if’ questions; that is, they imagined the future they wanted to have.

This led to many innovations, such as the planting of fruit and nut trees in public spaces, growing food crops at the local train station, connecting people with disused land with those wanting to grow food, crowdfunding a flour mill, and starting a community-owned craft brewery.

From What Is To What If takes readers through various ‘what if’ scenarios, giving innovative examples from around the globe.

Being a soul of nature myself, I was drawn to the chapter ‘What if We followed Nature’s Lead?’, which discusses our inherent connection to everything natural; and that a diversity of nature and more time spent in nature equate to an enhanced ability for us to imagine and innovate.

Heartbreakingly, we are experiencing unprecedented losses of biodiversity due to civilisation, habitat loss and climate change. This loss includes an astounding decline in food crop varieties.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious and to even switch off to such devastation but Rob stresses how critical it is that we imagine a ‘what if’ and ‘why not’ future, in order to instigate the changes and innovations needed for a more resilient and positive future.

Buy it here.


Explore the wonderful world of Australian native plants and utilising them in your backyard with experienced horticulturist, Tracey Bool. Learn how to select, grow, nurture and use a range of native plants for wildlife, beneficial insects and people. Landscape and design factors such as planning, establishment and maintenance will also be discussed.

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