Gardens as a form of resistance

I recently learned about a book called Defiant Gardens, which includes documentation about gardens planted by Japanese American internees in the internment camps during WWII. I love the way that these gardens provided a transformative and life-affirming mechanism for resistance.

Landscape architects, farmers and gardeners shared agricultural expertise. The gardens displayed the sophisticated, collective, skills of each unique camp community. In comparing and contrasting the agricultural creations at different camps, [the author] offers several insightful hypotheses to explain why gardening became so central to internment life. Not only did gardens served to beautify the camps and give internees a productive pastime, but [the author] suggests that taming the desert wilderness leant a sense of the pioneering, historic western experience.

Coming across this book was a much-needed and refreshing moment on the role of gardens and horticulture. I’ve been inundated with the Euro-centric history of landscape gardening told from the perspective of the rich and powerful.

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  1. 1 Resistance Gardens « The Blog and the Bullet

    […] by Jack Stephens on November 13th, 2007  The blogger at wsfoft.heart blogs about a book on Japanese internees in World War […]

  2. 2 Bible Versus and Gardens » Gardens as a form of resistance wsoft.heart

    […] Read more about this topic from the author here. […]




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