'Gardener's Guide to Growing Money Trees (The)' - a book by Dave Bell: Ron finds out how to grow money in the Adelaide City region of South Australia

The serenity of Botanic Park may seem light years away from the cut and thrust of Wall Street. But according to Adelaide author, philosopher and award winning garden designer Dave Bell, there's a huge dividend to be had when giving ourselves over to the natural world. His book "The Gardener's Guide to Growing Money Trees" recently won a bronze award at the "Living Now Book Awards" in New York.

Dave Bell describes himself as a graduate from the financial school of hard knocks majoring in the art of working really hard while going broke slowly. He readily admits that money doesn't grow on trees but he also believes that the natural world offers numerous clues on how to improve your personal wealth both in terms of money, but more importantly - happiness.

Many of the photos in the book were taken at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens by his mate James Morcom, a landscaper. The result is a series of photos like the one titled "Grub It When You Can" which suggests that when a window of opportunity opens, sometimes you need to act quickly. Dave's book is full of his homespun philosophy matched to wonderful images.

Dave Bell: "In terms of the things in life, the good things that I wanted, I found it very difficult. I mean it ended up my goal in life was to own a car with air conditioning."

He later went on to make some real money and now plays the stock market. However, the Global Financial Crisis wiped out 70 percent of his share portfolio. It's just another life lesson, more compost as he puts it, to promote the growth of his personal tree of knowledge.

Dave Bell: "If you have strong roots then it means as you grow older you tend to make decisions based on confidence. Then in terms of your financial journey in life it makes a lot of difference because confidence and money seem to go hand in hand."

Middleton Beach is a favourite spot for this keen surfer and his journey from a once impoverished garden designer to an award winning book publisher really started with a car crash and near death experience on one of his many trips in search of a wave.

Dave Bell: "I remember sitting down on the side of the road thinking wow I was really lucky to survive that, and then I had this thought you know don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today, because tomorrow may never come."

And so Dave threw himself into something that he'd often thought about during his musings as a landscape gardener, a book marrying photography with hard won philosophical insights gained on his lifelong journey. Some of those musings are about money, how to make it and keep it, and many of his insights come from the study of nature.

Dave Bell: "There's a photo in the book of a bee. It's a beautiful shot. And the bumble bee says be persistent and you'll eventually hit the jackpot. There's humour, there's some inspiration. There's lessons from the school of hard knocks, there's stuff I've learnt, stuff I wished I'd learnt, all mixed in with beautiful shots of nature and gardens."

Dave Bell doesn't expect to make a million bucks from this venture into the book world, but if sales go well, it may mean he'll hang onto something he's now grown accustomed to - a car with air-conditioning.

The gardener's guide to Growing Money Trees by Dave Bell and James Morcom is available from good bookstores. More ?'s email info@postcards-sa.com.au

'The gardener's guide to Growing Money Trees' By Dave Bell & James Morcom
Available good book stores

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