Once while riding in a car I saw a ‘Keep Your Laws Off My Body” bumper sticker and inside my head I shouted back “Keep Your Politics Out Of My Garden!” I surprised myself because in my youth I’d been anything but apolitical. I’d participated in rallies, marches, protests, voter registration drives and volunteered on a political campaign before I was old enough to vote myself. Perhaps I was burnt-out on politics after being immersed in it at an early age. The last place I thought politics belonged was in the garden.
Recently I came across a mention of the book Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism & Rebellion in the Garden by George McKay. Intrigued by the title and cover I sent off a request to the publisher for a review copy which they granted me. After reading this book I’ve come to the realization that my opinion that gardening should be free of the political is myopic to say the least. Gardens and the gardened landscapes are deeply rooted (ugh) in the political. George McKay uses historical examples to illustrate an "intimate relationship between politics, social change and landscape or garden" many of which mirror those taking place today.