Gardens of History and Imagination: Growing New South Wales
Gardens of History and Imagination: Growing New South Wales
Edited by Gretchen Poiner and Sybil Jack
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781743324561

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 this book, 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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List of Illustrations

1     Gardens, Landscapes, Wilderness: Ways of seeing ourselves
2    A Sense of Place
3    Garden Elements: Seeds, plants and their sources in colonial New South Wales
4    Cultivating Wellbeing: Gardens and health in colonial New South Wales
5    Exhibiting Gardening
6    Riverine Gardens of Sydney Waterways
7    Garden Suburbs for the People: The movement from late nineteenth-century New South Wales
8    Planting New South Wales: The role of the Sydney Botanic Garden
9    Hollywood in Burowod: The transformation of a suburban backyard to a garden
10  The Evolving Meanings of Retford Park: From the Horderns to Fairfax, 1885 to the present
About the Contributors

About the contributors

This project has been undertaken by members of the New South Wales Chapter of the Independent Scholars Association of Australia Inc.

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