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Led up the garden path? weeds, conservation rhetoric, and environmental management


Kendal, D and Robon, L and Wilson, A and Muir, C and Pearce, LM and Willoughby, S and Lunt, ID, Led up the garden path? weeds, conservation rhetoric, and environmental management, Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 24, (3) pp. 228-241. ISSN 1448-6563 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1080/14486563.2017.1300954


Garden plants have become a target in conservation science discourse, particularly the notion that they ‘jump the garden fence’ to become weeds. This paper synthesises findings of a suite of projects exploring the ‘culture of weeds’ through different disciplinary lenses. Together they agree that while home gardens sometimes contain plants known to be environmental weeds, gardens may not always be the vector for their spread into nearby bushland. Many plants attributed to gardens, in fact, originate in agriculture. The metaphor ‘jumping the garden fence’ obscures the complex pathways that underpin the spread of weeds. Weeding is an important part of both gardening and caring for bushland. Historically, we have been weeding the bush for a long time, and it is an important human activity. If it is industrialised, as it has been in agriculture, through broad-scale chemical and mechanical processes, it may be less valuable to both the bush and the people who care for it. A closer scrutiny of the military metaphors associated with enemy weeds may enable a different sort of weeding and different relations with the bush in Australia. It may even be that we need to garden the bush to get the wilderness we desire.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:conservation, environmental management, weeds, invasive species
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Urban and regional planning
Research Field:Land use and environmental planning
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Kendal, D (Dr Dave Kendal)
ID Code:123859
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2018-01-30
Last Modified:2018-03-15

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