Gardening at the Dragon's GateAbout the Author
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For more than thirty years, Wendy Johnson has been meditating and gardening at the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in northern California, where the fields curve like an enormous green dragon between the hills and the ocean. Renowned for its pioneering role in California’s food revolution, Green Gulch provides choice produce to farmers’ markets and to San Francisco’s Greens restaurant. Now Wendy has distilled her lifetime of experience into this extraordinary celebration of inner and outer growth, showing how the garden cultivates the gardener even as she digs beds, heaps up compost, plants flowers and fruit trees, and harvests bushels of organic vegetables.

Wendy Johnson is a hands-on, on-her-knees gardener, and she shares with the reader a wealth of practical knowledge and fascinating garden lore. But she is also a lover of the untamed and weedy, and she evokes through her exquisite prose an abiding appreciation for the earth—both cultivated and forever wild—in a book sure to earn a place in the great tradition of American nature writing.


About the Author

Wendy Johnson is a Buddhist meditation teacher and organic gardening mentor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Wendy Johnson began practicing Zen Buddhist meditation in 1971 and has led meditation retreats nationwide since 1992 as an ordained lay dharma teacher in the traditions of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the San Francisco Zen Center. As one of the founders of the organic farming program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, Wendy has been teaching organic agriculture and meditation for decades. Since its inception in 1995, she has been a mentor and advisor to the Edible Schoolyard Project affiliated with Chez Panisse restaurant. She is a founding instructor of the College of Marin's innovative Organic Farm and Gardening Project established in 2009, where she currently teaches organic agriculture. In 2000 Wendy and her husband, Peter Rudnick, received the annual Sustainable Agriculture Award from the National Ecological Farming Association. 


Since 1995 Wendy has written a quarterly column on gardening for Tricycle Magazine, a national Buddhist review, and she is the author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate, published by Bantam  in 2008. Wendy was honored by inclusion in The Best Science and Nature Writing 2000, published by Houghton Mifflin and in The Best Buddhist Writing 2009 and The Best Buddhist Writing 2011, published by Shambhala, Boston and London. 

Gardening at the Dragon's Gate is Wendy's first book.

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The Illustrator

Davis Te Selle Davis Te Selle holds an MFA in printmaking from San Francisco Art Institute and received the 2003 James. D. Phelan Award for printmaking in California. He has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions on both East and West Coasts. His illustrations have been published in Wild Earth, Orion, Turning Wheel, Inquiring Mind, and Wild Duck Review; his lithographs also appeared in The Attentive Heart: Conversations with Trees, by Stephanie Kaza. He teaches nature drawing with the Environmental Program at University of Vermont and maintains a printmaking studio in Burlington, Vermont.



Illustration by Davis TeSelle

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Bantam Books

Ed Callaert, Photographer





Wendy Johnson

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Wendy with garden cart