The expression of tradition: perennial gardening in St. John's, Newfoundland

Houlden, Penelope Daphne (1985) The expression of tradition: perennial gardening in St. John's, Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In order to understand the processes which effect the individual realization of garden design, I have studied the practise of perennial gardening in St. John's, Newfoundland. I begin with an examination of the practical constraints on design intentions resulting from difficult growing conditions, and a limited market of plant materials, relevant gardening literature and skilled· garden workers. I establish the local repertoire of design models within which individual gardens are executed. Finally, I record the "text" of six ·perennial gardens and the commentary of their principal designers in order to examine both the implicit and explicit considerations informing the structure of the gardens. A sample of gardens has been examined in order to represent two principal performance contexts -- the public garden and the private garden -- and a characteristic selection of garden style and plant material is observed. The public gardens typically recall the "traditional" use of perennials in Newfoundland gardens through the selection of "old fashioned" plant species and through the overall design of the bed. In contrast, the private gardeners have generally adopted the style of the more recently fashionable "perennial border". However, below the level of design the private gardeners continue to express a sense of tradition in the _repetition of conventions of behaviour and expression among the gardeners' families and friends, in the propagation of individual plants grown by the gardeners' parents, and in the maintenance of a family interest in gardening. This examination of the practise of gardening, thus, leads away from the folklorists' traditional focus on the continuity of the traditional "item" towards an understanding of tradition as an expression of continuity which is given tangible shape according to the avenues of shared communication within particular performance contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 12138
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 236-244).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: August 1985
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Community gardens--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Gardening--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's; Perennials--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's

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