Thursday, October 16, 2008

On fences and gardens

Click here for another NYTimes article in a series of good stories about individual human beings making other lives better, through gardening. I like it especially because it addresses the subject of fences. Good fences make good neighbours. That depends. Good fences in public spaces also separate and classify: on one side is Good, on the other, Bad. The good becomes self-righteous and exclusive. The bad demonized and self-fulfilling.

The garden that heals is a bit of cliche, and seeing the words all strung together, yet again, makes me wince a little...problem is, like many cliches, it's true.

Will Allen's refusal to put up fences around his city farm in Wisconsin illustrates what gardens without fences can do: equalize and include, and inspire.

Then again. Fences have, I grant you, an aesthetic appeal, perhaps because they can accentuate what is on either side. And some of them have that most inviting or intimidating of structures held within them: a gate.


  1. A fence also serves as a bilateral grass fertilizer.

    And a temptation for kids and restless adults.

  2. Ah...are you saying what I think you're saying, 'cos if you are, I have a picture...


  3. Not sure... What are you saying? ;-)


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