Master of Science (MS)
Geography and Anthropology
Home gardens are intimate spaces of interaction between humans and the natural world. This study examines how relations and practices within gardens both perpetuate and disrupt perspectives on human separateness from nature. Nine Baton Rouge gardeners participated in this study, sharing stories about their lives and garden through interviews and garden walk-throughs. By adopting more-than-human social theory, this study explores these stories to answer three questions: (1) What types of relationships are found between garden inhabitants in Baton Rouge? (2) How do these relationships influence garden practices? And (3) How do relationships and practices create hybrid garden spaces? Garden inhabitants include humans and non-humans like plants, animals, and non-living objects which collectively create hybrid garden spaces. This hybridity recognizes the connections between human and non-human to attend to ethical considerations of more-than-human communities. More-than-human engagements may be traced through relations that inform garden practice and composition. Relations in Baton Rouge gardens include those of family and friends, fear and loss, community, labor, care and discrimination, addiction, and reward and reciprocity. These relations influence garden practices, manifesting as planting and selecting, improvising and transforming, observing and immersing, talking and touching, resisting and protecting, and reproduction. Garden relations and practices in provide entry points for how hybridity and more-than-human worlds come to be realized and challenge notions of human separateness caused by human-nature dualisms. Baton Rouge gardeners have a variety of relationships and practice in the garden which both perpetuate human separateness and dissolve boundaries of dualisms. However, venturing into the hybridity of more-than-human worlds is often transient, and is dependent on the amount of time a gardener spends in the garden. These states can be traced and identified through processes of control, kinship, and composting, and provide valuable insights human-environment relations that are resonant with existing literature and hopes for more ethical futures.
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Hull, Lauren, "Composting the Garden: Hybrid Geographies of Baton Rouge Urban Gardens" (2017). LSU Master's Theses. 4534.