Gardens as Chick Lit?

November 22, 2006

in Articles, General Interest

by Anne Wareham

Maybe it’s not helpful to wonder about whether gardens are art. It’s too general; perpetuating the idea that there’s just one thing which we call a garden. This thinking leads to the sad complaints to this website that we are wanting to destroy people’s pleasure in their own back gardens, and of course we don’t.

But other art forms have lots of different categories. Music encompasses pop, jazz, classical, gospel, folk, country; novels can be historical, romantic, sci fi, detective, chick lit., children’s, (with sub sections), pot boilers, page turners, airport novels  and literature. These all have their aficionados and all are treated seriously and subject to serious discussion by someone somewhere.

We do have categories of gardens, but they’re crude and unhelpful. We define gardens by the type of plant in them or that they’re historic. Or lost (but widely advertised, with directions). What is the garden equivalent of chick lit? (Sissinghurst?) of folk music? (Sticky Wicket?) There could be all kinds of fun borrowing the categories other art forms use…

…but we would probably do better to create some of our own.

Anne Wareham

Veddw House Garden website

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