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Spring Rain A Meditation on Love, Life and Gardens

Biography / Memoir New
By: Marc Hamer(Author)
228 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Vintage
Spring Rain
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  • Spring Rain ISBN: 9781529920482 Paperback Feb 2024 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • Spring Rain ISBN: 9781778400278 Hardback Apr 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
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About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

This is a story about the rain, a boy, an angry dog and a gardener, and how some of them find peace and freedom...

In Spring Rain, writer and gardener Marc Hamer shares his path from difficult beginnings to contentment, by way of family gardens.

As a young boy in a violent home, Marc found refuge in his small back garden. Here he kindled a lifelong love of nature and learning by observing the plants and insects in his private kingdom and reading the old encyclopaedias he found in the shed.

Marc has always found the answers to life's questions in the natural world, whether as a child watching ants, as a young man living rough in the countryside, or as a professional gardener creating places of calm and restoration for others. Now in his sixties, he is finally creating a garden for himself, at his home in Cardiff. In this beautiful and moving memoir, he considers what he has learned, from the spring of youth to his autumn years, and reflects on how we reconcile our childhoods with where we end up.

With line drawings by the author, Spring Rain encourages us back in tune with the natural world and offers both consolation and a guide to a happier life.

Customer Reviews


Marc Hamer was born in the North of England and moved to Wales over thirty years ago. After spending a period homeless, then working on the railway, he returned to education and studied fine art in Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent. He has worked in art galleries, marketing, graphic design and taught creative writing in a prison before becoming a gardener. Both his books, A Life in Nature; or How to Catch a Mole and Seed to Dust have been longlisted for the Wainwright Prize.

Biography / Memoir New
By: Marc Hamer(Author)
228 pages, b/w illustrations
Publisher: Vintage
Media reviews

"In the last volume of his memoir trilogy, Marc Hamer explains why a garden is not just a place of work – it's also a place of worship."
– Margaret Roach, The New York Times

"Marc Hamer knows how to live – simply, sparely, reverently, abundantly. Spring Rain is a tonic for the soul."
– Sy Montgomery, author of How to Be A Good Creature

"Patterned with Hamer's gifts for observation, compression, and tone [...] I tend to think of a garden story as inevitably circular: every winter is followed by a spring, again and again. Hamer's garden story has that element, but it is as neighborly with the mortal arrow as it is with the return."
– Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker

"[B]eautifully descriptive, lyrical [...] This ultimately hopeful memoir, with the natural world seamlessly woven throughout, will appeal to gardeners, natural history buffs, and those who relish natural history – framed memoirs like Margaret Renkl's Late Migrations and Meredith May's The Honey Bus."
Library Journal

"Let the gentleness of Spring Rain wash over you. Marc Hamer beautifully evokes the memories of a harsh childhood and his journey to a wise and peaceful adulthood. Set against the backdrop of a garden, this is a memoir that will restore your soul."
– Pamela Klinger-Horn, The Valley Bookseller

"I find Hamer's writing so profound that it must be read slowly in order to fully absorb the medicine it is to one's soul. Although epic in its gifts, it is based in the simpler ways of life, one hand always touching the earth. This is a tale of two timelines, one in his childhood and how he was initially pulled to the natural world, and the other in his retirement, finding a mutual understanding between himself and the piece of land under his care. Beautiful!"
– Becky Doherty, Northshire

"Marc Hamer, in the third in his Gardener's Chronicle, alternates chapters in this short and moving book between his meditative, accepting present and his unsteady, unpromising beginning [...] This book is at times heartbreaking, but ultimately, heartening."
– Suzanne Morgan, Politics & Prose

"As a fan of Seed to Dust, I gladly re-entered the world, life and inner workings of Marc Hamer again with his new book Spring Rain. His memoirs work as meditations on life and nature and are wonderful to read and relax into."
– Lorna Ruby, Wellesley Books

"Marc Hamer is my nature guru! His little books connect me to nature while adding life wisdom to the garden experience. A wonderful quiet stop when things get to hectic! Love his books!"
– Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette

"Even better than his last! I am relishing the slow, meditative swings between childhood and old age, between gardens fine and humble, between lack and abundance. This reckoning of a life lived outdoors and one last garden, one last creation, is the perfect balm to online chaos and the perfect accompaniment to a muddy spring day. It is inspiring me to clear out previous failed attempts and pick up a trowel and begin anew."
– Michaela Riding, King's English Bookshop

"In alternating dual narratives, Hamer's deeply moving third book both fills out the back story of the teenager who walked away from home without plan or destination (eventually learning How to Catch a Mole) and follows the successful gardener of Seed to Dust into retirement. These two identities – as distinct as they are similar – mesh in Hamer's richly observant and lyrical prose."
– Laurie Greer, Politics & Prose

"The deepest and most profoundly thought-proving book I have ever read is Spring Rain. I read it as slowly as I could and still wanted to reread it as soon as it ended."
– Nancy Pierce, Bookmiser

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