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Introducing the Punk Gardener

Partway through last year when (thanks to tinyjo and her lovely mum) I started going to gardening shows I began to notice what for want of a better word might be called a mainstream narrative of gardening. Of course, it's multi-threaded, but there's a theme runs through it, and that theme is predominantly posh voices, home counties, old money, country living and city elegance. There's a counterculture, but it is quite conservative itself; white dreadlocks, grim-jawed permaculture, magic compost water, stewed goosegrass for supper. This isn't to say that either of these things don't have their advantages; topiary comes from the former narrative and backgarden beekeeping from the latter and both these things are awesome. But neither of them are me, and what I am doesn't seem to be very visible. The closest thing to the style of gardening I mean was probably the Iceberg Garden I saw twice last year in different locations. There's a sort of defiant non-traditionalism about it, and it incorporates -- grows over -- the modern world rather than locking it behind a wall of bucolic conservatism or goodlifeish eco-denialism.

And that's pretty much how I got started on The Punk Gardener (neon colours warning, not that that should surprise anyone who's seen my back garden). Syndicated as thepunkgardener for those who wish to substitute their own layouts and colour choices. I'm enjoying the luxury of just talking about one thing, but also aware that it's probably detracting from here a bit. So, in the best spirit of the oldest extant social networking site, help me LJ:

- Would it be intrusive if the Punk Gardener out-takes appeared here linked to there?
- Are there gardens (or gardening websites) you think I should be looking at?
- Does anyone know of any gardening writers/opinionists you think I would like?
- What do you think about gardening narratives? Am I missing a trick?


( 13 worms — Feed the birds )
29th May, 2014 08:29 (UTC)
By all means cross post here. The more the better.
Gardening is very much a pursuit with fashions and trends. I am sure if you wait a bit the narrative will change and indeed you will help to change it. The other thing is you notice narratives that resonate with you more - I always notice engineering themes like the overarching stanless steel and glass water feature; http://bartholomewlandscaping.com/tag/positively-stoke-on-trent/
30th May, 2014 06:05 (UTC)
The water wall one! Some garden pundit or other (can't remember who) got disorientated and ended up in the water. Nice gallery (much better than Chelsea's own) -- I'd completely missed the porcelain balls!
29th May, 2014 10:33 (UTC)
Aaaah yes totally know what you mean with the mainstream narrative of gardening. Brighton feels like it should have more of what you're looking for but is instead much more like that standard white-dreads counterculture.

I do somewhat avoid gardening stuff because I'd quite like to do some while being really unlikely to be in a position to any time soon, but, I wonder if it's worth you having a look at blogs/websites from New Zealand? Obviously the plants are somewhat different and the climate not exactly the same, but there isn't that old money/home counties vibe for gardening to latch on to, and give the nature of the native plants, people really aren't afraid of bright colours and spiky things. They're still conservative in other ways (I'm not sure how the fridge thing would go down) but I had a sense of the energy and exuberance of all this stuff that wants to grow over there, and that people thought it was fun to get stuck in and work with it, rather than the only tasteful aim being for the appearance of effortless elegance.
30th May, 2014 06:19 (UTC)
29th May, 2014 11:30 (UTC)
I like seeing your gardening thoughts and LJ is quiet, so please do crosspost!
30th May, 2014 06:29 (UTC)
Oh, um would you be interested in some bush clematis? I'm trying some cuttings at the moment. Tolerates deep shade and dry. http://www.perennials.com/plants/clematis-heracleifolia-china-purple.html
29th May, 2014 17:55 (UTC)
yeeeeeahhhhh do it
30th May, 2014 06:23 (UTC)
29th May, 2014 21:49 (UTC)
I recommend YouGrowGirl.com. Would happily read your garden updates!
30th May, 2014 06:22 (UTC)
in love
OMG she has an ongoing fear of Clematis! http://yougrowgirl.com/tiniest-clematis-ever-see/
30th May, 2014 11:44 (UTC)
Go for it (re crosspoating) - I'd love to read it.
31st May, 2014 08:29 (UTC)
See note above about bush clematis -- you want some?
31st May, 2014 21:15 (UTC)
I second You Grow Girl. Also check out Incredible Edible for growing related things, not gardens as such but i've just picked up a lovely tomato plant from our Penryn group and edible gardens are springing up all over the place here. Also a friend of mine took over Oakcroft Organics last year and blogs about it: https://www.facebook.com/oakcroftorganics http://www.lisamargreet.com/
( 13 worms — Feed the birds )