Book Review: Gardening Nude, by Shawna Coronado

“Gardening nude is the answer for better mental and physical health – it is combining healthier lifestyle practices, a green conservation plan, and improving relationships though community. Gardening nude is a metaphor which describes a more satisfying way of life. It is discovering your naked truth and doing something with it to help make a difference for yourself and humanity. Gardening nude is getting out in nature (while still remaining fully clothed) to strip away the excuses, the emotional baggage, and the stress by improving your lifestyle and living healthier.” 

Shawna Lee Coronado has a mission: To inspire us to live our lives to the fullest in ways that are healthiest for us, for the planet, and for our community. In her new book Gardening Nude, she shows us how. 
Based on her own experience of poor physical and emotional health that improved dramatically as she began gardening and otherwise interacting more with both nature and her community, Shawna Coronado has developed the “Get Your Green On Healthy Philosophy.” This philosophy has three components: The Go Green Health Plan, the Simple Conservation Plan, and the Building Community Plan. In essence, it’s about living a healthier lifestyle while working with and helping those around us, and leaving a smaller carbon footprint in the process. 

The book is filled not only with hearty enthusiasm and encouragement, but with sound research from experts like Drs. Andrew Weil and Madeline Levine, and with real-life examples of people who, in one way or another, are living a healthy, environmentally conscious, and community-centered life. The book is also packed with steps we can all take to achieving better health. For example, in the “Green and Simple Conservation Plan” chapter, we learn about ways to live a more ecologically  – and therefore personally – sustainable life, including conserving water, making compost, recycling, and planting our garden to attract beneficial insects (thus attracting wildlife while at the same time reducing the need for pesticides). 

I’ll admit, when Shawna first contacted me about including me in the book (full disclosure: my organization, the Therapeutic Landscapes Network, is one of the “Examples from Real Life” in Chapter Five), the academic “professional” in me was reluctant to be in a publication with the word “nude” in the title. But I was easily won over because unlike so many books that “preach to the converted,” here was something that might actually reach more than a few people.  Shawna is one of the most enthusiastic and gregarious people I’ve ever met, traits that make her message accessible to people who might not otherwise heed the advice of “treehuggers” and “health nuts.”

I hope Shawna sells lots of copies of Gardening Nude so that it can soon be reprinted in larger type and with juicy color photos instead of black and white. And of course so that even more people can benefit from Shawna’s inspiring yet wholly practical Get Your Green On Healthy Philosophy. Copies of Gardening Nude are available from both of Shawna Coronado’s websites ( and ( You can get the book from, too, but why do that when you can get it straight from the author herself for the same price? That said, you should stop by Amazon for more reviews of Gardening Nude