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Revithick Room, Environment and Sustainability Institute

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Just Pottering About? Domestic Gardens and Sustainability talk

An Environment and Sustainability Institute research event
Date20 November 2019
Time13:00 to 14:00
PlaceRevithick Room, Environment and Sustainability Institute

Oliver Gilbert in his pioneering book (The Flowering of Cities 1992) comments that there is more biodiversity in the average suburban garden than in many rural areas. This is mainly due to chemical based industrial farming resulting in ‘bleaching’ of the countryside

The domestic or private garden increasingly plays a significant role,  both in terms of maintaining local bio-diversity as Gilbert argued; but also in people’s daily engagements with nature and environmental issues, which is the focus of this presentation.

At the same time I seek to engage with wider debates on  ‘third wave’ of environmentalism, as actions on sustainability shift towards the cultural sphere with greater attention is given to  household/consumer practices at the everyday level. I use primary empirical data (life stories and photographs) gathered by the Mass Observation Archive as part of AHRC funded project Writing the everyday landscape of everyday life: lay narratives of the home garden. This research  focusses on meanings of home,  garden,  and gardening activities,  and examines how ‘ordinary’ men and women write about the role and significance of the garden in the context of their daily lives. I will conclude by suggesting that domestic gardens are important places in the journey towards an environmental culture.


ProviderEnvironment and Sustainability Institute

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