CULTURAL COLONISATION – IN YOUR BACKYARD?

Gardening for Specific Climates. Image Cat Jones 2012.

Have you ever looked at your garden and wondered what your garden says about you culturally?

It may be a garden that you have created, adapted,¬†inherited, live near or travel past. Both your relationship with it and it’s environment may say something about your everyday cultural world that you may not have observed before or could influence the way you think.

If you made a cultural analysis of what is in the garden, and how you interact with it, how would it reflect on you, the way you see the world, your personal contribution to culture?

I was reading a gardening blog where people write in with their garden issues to get advice, and one contributer’s situation struck me as being more of a distortion of their own social/cultural perspective a problem with the garden.

How does one keep one’s compost from becoming a luxury hotel for ants?

Social translation:

Fearing the invasion of the working class as displacing their own status through the perceived devaluing of their neighbourhood.

Advice:

Ants assist the creation of compost, aerating soil and provide many other functions for nearby plants. Making lots of compost heaps throughout the neighbourhood will provide more ant habitats, support the concentrated population with a spread of homes, and share the rich soil they help make, all around.

Gardening could be seen as the communication meeting point between plants and humans; or it could be seen as an act of colonisation. It could be seen as many other shades of green in between.

I’d like to start a dialogue with you about your garden – a sort of cultural/botanical Agony Aunt and will get back to you soon with a call out for submissions.