In this link list, we visit a garden of resistance and sit in a bed of wild roses to think about love. Flipping through the pages of an old copy of House and Garden magazine, we listen to the history of the orchid cult, orchidelirium.
Throughout history, gardens have been a source of inspiration for artists, writers, and thinkers. Below, the authors behind this month’s links walk us through gardens as metaphors and agents of change, as we pause and delight ourselves with the possibilities of the landscape.
Vince Aletti: House & Garden
In this heartfelt essay, writer and photography critic Vince Aletti reflects on his intimate relation to the magazine House & Garden. How flipping through its pages at the age of 13 shaped his love for images and interiors and how collecting them as an adult has helped put his “teenage obsessions into some historical perspective.” Cover by Irving Penn.
On reconnecting to the power of plants
“I think there are many ways to find a deeper relationship to land, but the ways in which I was taught by my mom and my grandmothers are what gave me my sensitivity to the more-than-human world.” says clinical herbalist and gardener Antonia Estela Pérez Rojas. In this article, she speaks about how gardening is an avenue to return to the source, reconnect with her roots, and how social impact can be achieved by recovering ancestral knowledge. Photograph by Juan Veloz.
The Intoxicating Allure of Orchids
What makes orchids one of the most adored flowers? From colonization to ghosts and sex, botanical philosopher Norbert Peeters walks through the history and ambivalent connotations of this magnetic flower.
Learnings from the Land
In a moment where fashion and design students are unable to reconcile their love for their crafts with the destructive nature of the industry, Deborah Barker is offering an alternative. In this interview, she speaks about offering farm-based courses for fashion students, understanding fibers as expressions of the landscape, and re-establishing a reciprocal relationship between fashion and nature. Photograph by Jack Johnstone.
Garden with burnt-out cottage “shows Ukraine’s spirit cannot be erased”
Landscape designers Victoria and Oleksiy Manoylo were in Milan when Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Without being able to return, they went to Duisberg, Germany. With friends’ help, they have now built “What does not burn,” a garden in a burnt-out cottage aiming to show Ukraine’s resilience. All donations made through this garden will go to Yellow and Blue Makes Green, a charity supporting the rebuilding of public parks and gardens destroyed by the war.
What restoring a walled garden taught me about love
“I often think while in the garden that the greatest happiness comes when I am in both states at once, working and dreaming together,” writes Olivia Laing in this charming essay where she finds in gardening a metaphor for love: a gap between the real and the dream.
Black Girls with gardens
Black Girls with gardens is a collective initiated by Jasmine Jefferson in 2017. Through tips, panel discussions, and recommendations of Black-owned businesses, BGWG has created an inclusive and multicultural community for Black women with a passion for gardening. Photograph of Jasmine Jefferson.
Time is away: Derek Jarman
After being diagnosed with HIV in 1986, artist and activist Derek Jarman immersed himself in his garden in Dungeness. They wrote his touching memoir “Modern Nature,” where he reflects on his love for gardening while facing his own mortality. This field recording draws on this memoir and, through words and music, recreates one year in Jarman’s garden.
Paper link: On the Necessity of Gardening
On the Necessity of Gardening explores the place where culture and nature converge. With contributions from artists, writers, poets, and thinkers, this book offers a contemporary take on gardens and their relationship to society today. Cover by Bart de Baets.
This collection of articles taps into the cultures and possibilities surrounding gardens. The main image featured in this piece is a photograph of Derek Jarman’s garden Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, Kent.
If you want to read more on creativity and nature, visit the story on the quiet activism of the Lissome founder Dörte de Jesus. And make sure to head over to our Link List on creative efforts to support Ukraine.
Text: Maria Paris