It would not be Christmas without the Guardian newspaper filling its pages with angry and unseasonal comments about how beastly and miserable life is. Anything that can provide joy to a man or woman must be dragged down. Today’s winner is a long article by James Wong “Other arts are political, why not gardening? -Gardens make strong statements even when they don’t!.”
So me planting some strawberries or fruit bushes here at the Welsh Hovel makes statements about ownership but if I do not make a conscious statement about sexism, racism, homophobia in what I plant that is in itself a political act. The Guardian points to Gardens which make statements about Windrush and other matters.
Cripes, the Mrs wants to plant some pansies in the borders of the formal lawn. I am in two minds: am I marginalising them by putting them only on the edges of the lawn and what would this planting say about our views on the LGBT community? Is it better to plant or not? And don’t get me started on the old fruit (tree) in the main garden. Two minutes with the Guardian and I am starting to re-assess all my plans. If I plant potatoes at the top end of the vegetable patch, will my Irish neighbour, whose house overlooks my spud patch, view this as cultural appropriation or a hate crime given that he is old Irish while my family were the sort of folk who moved to Ireland in the 1650s to build large houses?
Whilst the Mrs and I consider our plans, there are some folk lining up to praise this important contribution to life in Airstrip One. Meet Ed Wall. He spends some time as a visting professor in Italy but his main job is funded by the grateful British taxpayer. Ed is the Head of Landscape Architecture Urbanism at one of our newer Universities, Greenwich. In recommending the Guardian piece, Ed cuts to the chase in recognising why it is so important that we take it on board.
I think my “honest” conversation about my garden is: “ I used my taxed income to buy a property with a garden. It is my garden and what I plant there is my business. So Ed and the Guardian can just feck off.” The End.