• Gardens and gardening

      Crouch, David; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2009)
      The garden has been an informing metaphor for geographical thought for sometime and as an affective material object and gardening as a process in the figuring and refiguring of space. It has represented an ideal environment and culture, a rather pre-cultural, pre-human state in a number of world religions, and continues to reappear in contemporary geographical discussions of the sacred. These leitmotifs of human geography are significantly theorized through ideology, discourse, and power, where ‘the garden’ becomes iconic. Signifying identity as well as status, cultural capital and social difference, as well as social/cultural relations, the garden and ways of gardening emerge as expression. A more complex conceptualization of the garden and gardening emerge in debates concerning consumption, commodification, and identity. In recent decades, the garden as artifact has been increasingly transformed to gardening as practice and as significant in developing critical conceptual approaches to a range of ‘new’ cultural geographies. These shifts and developments accompany the increasing geographical interest in process, practice, and performance. The ‘nature’ dimensions relating to, and perhaps informed by, gardens and gardening emerge in new ways in terms of the conceptualizations of nature where significance and meaning may emerge through practice, and in relation to the nonhuman; and debates concerning the ethical and moral in human geography, including shifting symbolism of the garden and of gardening in relation to war and peace. These developments in human geographies have been enmeshed with wider humanities and social science thinking and beyond these, from art theory and social anthropology to environmental debate.