Netflix movies you should watch if you haven’t already: Dare to be Wild

Dare to be Wild
Image via Dare to be Wild movie’s Facebook page

Vivienne De Courcy’s Dare to be Wild shares the story of a young Mary Reynolds, a woman determined to bring the magic of wild places into garden design everywhere. The movie features Emma Greenwell as Mary, working against all odds to bring her untamed visions to life and present them at the prestigious Chelsea Garden Show. Along the way, she meets Christy Collard, played by Tom Hughes. Mary forms a strong connection with Christy, eventually following him to Ethiopia in order to convince him of the importance of her work.

christy and mary
Image via Netflix (Dare to be Wild)

Christy’s role is critical in broadening the scope of how we think of and treat the world around us. As Mary works towards creating her garden and restoring the magic of wild places, Christy is building Oases in Ethiopia in an attempt to reverse the effects of climate change. He’s working with The Futaro Fund for Forests, an organisation founded by Japanese writer, Kaori Niitsuma that works to replenish desert landscapes in the Ethiopian Highlands.

The film draws an interesting connection between practical solutions, like Christy’s Oases project, and a more abstract way of helping the cause which is illustrated through Mary and her entry in the Chelsea Garden Show. Without her representation of wild places, people wouldn’t know or care about the importance of preserving nature as it is and restoring it to what it once was.

mary in the garden
Image via Netflix – Mary in her Celtic Garden

Overall, this is a magnificent film that highlights an amazing individual doing what she can to share the indescribable feeling wild and untamed places bring to the soul. It reminds you of childhood evenings spend tearing through the woods until it was time for dinner, or the magical feeling captured in books like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.

mary reynolds
The real life Mary Reynolds at the entrance to her Celtic Garden (image via The Telegraph UK)

“People travel the world over to visit untouched places of natural beauty, yet modern gardens pay little heed to the simplicity and beauty of these environments…those special places we all much preserve and protect, each in his own way, before they are lost forever.”

-Mary Reynolds, Chelsea Application – November, 2001

For more on Mary, here’s an interview she did with the Telegraph UK 

For more info on Mary’s Celtic Garden designs, check out this article from

And finally, here is a link to Mary’s website which has info on her recent book, The Garden Awakening: Designs To Nurture Our Land and Ourselves.

Thanks for reading!


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