Gardens of History and Imagination: Growing New South Wales

Sydney University Press
Free sample

Whether on the ground or in the mind gardens carry meaning. They reflect social and aesthetic values and may express hope, anticipation or grief. Throughout history they have provided a means of physical survival. In creating and maintaining gardens people construe and construct a relationship with their environment. But there is no single meaning carried in the word ‘garden’: as idea and practice it reflects cultural differences in beliefs, values and social organisation. It embodies personal, community even national ways of seeing and being in the world.

There are ten essays in Gardens of History and Imagination, each of which examines the role of gardens and gardening in the settlement of New South Wales and in growing a colony and a state. They explore the significance of gardens for the health of the colony, for its economy, for the construction of social order and moral worth. No less do they reveal the significance of forming and reforming personal identities in this process.

For the immigrants gardening was an act of settlement; it was also a statement of possession for individuals and for Britain. For a long time it was with memories of ‘home’, often selective and idealised, that settlers made gardens but as the colony developed its own character so did gardening possibilities and practices.

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About the author

This project has been researched and written by members of the New South Wales Chapter of the Independent Scholars Association of Australia, Inc.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Sydney University Press
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Published on
Jun 3, 2016
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781743324561
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Language
English
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Genres
Gardening / Essays & Narratives
Gardening / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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“One of the distinguished gardening books of our time,” from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma (USA Today).
 
Chosen by the American Horticultural Society as one of the 75 greatest books ever written about gardening
 
After Michael Pollan bought an old Connecticut dairy farm, he planted a garden and attempted to follow Thoreau’s example: do not impose your will upon the wilderness, the woodchucks, or the weeds. That ethic did not, of course, work. But neither did pesticides or firebombing the woodchuck burrow. So Michael Pollan began to think about the troubled borders between nature and contemporary life.
 
The result is a funny, profound, and beautifully written book in the finest tradition of American nature writing. It inspires thoughts on the war of the roses; sex and class conflict in the garden; virtuous composting; the American lawn; seed catalogs, and the politics of planting a tree. A blend of meditation, autobiography, and social history, Second Nature, from the renowned author of The Botany of Desire, In Defense of Food, and other bestsellers, is “as delicious a meditation on one man’s relationship with the Earth as any you are likely to come upon” (The New York Times Book Review).
 
“Usually when Americans have wanted to explore their relationship to nature they’ve gone to the wilderness, or the woods. Michael Pollan went to the garden instead . . . and he’s returned with a quirky and pleasing book.” —Annie Dillard
 
“A joy to read.” —Los Angeles Times
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