Duck Duck Book

2 – african-american gardens
07.7.2004, 12:04 am
Filed under: technology

African-American gardens and yards in the rural South / Richard Westmacott.
Knoxville : University of Tennessee Press, c1992.
[MCL call number: 635.0896 W531a; three copies, no holds]

Westamacott, a British landscape architect, surveyed 47 African-American families and individuals living in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina about their gardens, their gardening practices, and their beliefs about gardening in general. All the gardeners were more than fifty years old, except for two who lived with their parents on the same property. Most had decades of gardening experience, and had lived on their land for most of their lives.

The book details the results of that study, reproduces large portions of the author’s interviews with gardeners, and includes a brief history of African-American gardening from before reconstruction through the twentieth century. From the small amount of garden history reading I’ve done, I can tell you that this history is largely missing from other books.

African-American Gardens and Yards is incredibly readable, and is intellectually valuable for anyone interested in gardening, rural life, or African-American material culture.


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