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Organising domestic gardens and implications for water use Russell Hitchings Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University College London. Plan of presentation. Background to the study Setting up a system that makes sense What is a garden good for?

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Organising domestic gardens and implications for water useRussell HitchingsResearch Fellow, Department of Geography, University College London
plan of presentation
Plan of presentation
  • Background to the study
  • Setting up a system that makes sense
  • What is a garden good for?
  • What this tells us about why water is used
background to the study
Background to the study
  • Profiles and practices
  • People, plants and materials
  • What does practice mean?
  • Where to look and what to do?
what do we know about actual changing activity
What do we know about actual changing activity?
  • More money... but in what kinds of way?
  • Smaller sizes... but kinds of housing?
  • Time use... but what kind of time?
  • Garden characters... but are people like that?
what is a garden good for
What is a garden good for?
  • Why do we have these things anyway?
  • Different ideas articulated across sites?
1 the garden centre
1. The garden centre
  • A young couple, wandering really. They seem aimless. She says ‘its ok, mmm, well maybe I’d quite like a bigger one, but I don’t know.’ Then they go back into quiet, ‘ums’ and ‘ahs.’ There are building works behind the centre and they talk animatedly about that for a while. Like this is something for them to latch onto - ‘wonder what its going to be etc.’ Then its back into the silence and a confused kind of roaming around. Then they see the cactuses. ‘Ah look at the cactus – they are great aren’t they.’ ‘Yes look at all the different shapes!’ ‘Shall we get some of those?...I like that one.’
2 the garden designer
2. The garden designer

Client: And that variegated one, we could make that a bit more bushy…I wonder whether we can do that? I mean can we still do that? I mean that is something that we should be doing now is it – at the end of summer? But is it the end of summer? I mean what is the gardening end of summer?

Kate: It really isn’t a fixed time thing, its just something to do with when you have had enough time sitting in the garden looking at it, and you feel like cutting things back! (laughter) (observation session

3 the designed garden
3. The designed garden
  • James, equally, wanted a reason to be out there. He talked about how the garden needed watering. He said it was like having a dog, that encouraged him to go for walks - walks which he wouldn’t have thought of doing otherwise, but would nonetheless enjoy doing in practice... But of course this would have been a particular kind of dog (interview two).
4 the gardened garden
4. The gardened garden
  • ‘You see if it gets dry and you just water it (...) then the next day it’s all drunk by all the big trees! But if you have the watering system and you have it on at certain times - it waters enough - and they all grow!’ (Diane, interview one)
an uneasy experience with scope for intervention
An uneasy experience with scope for intervention
  • Normal gardens and kinds of convention in London?
  • The opportunity to get on board when systems of practice change.
main points
Main points
  • Different ethics where water wastage is only one
  • Issues of work or relaxation: getting things done or allowing change
  • Finding the times when they would be well received...and there may be more of them now
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