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Gardening crafts and the ephemeral biological heritage. Exploring the possibilities to develop small nurseries for local plant propagation in the gardens of Gunnebo and Mårbacka

Conference contribution
Authors Tina Westerlund
Gunnar Almevik
Peter Sjömar
Published in The Permanent Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL), 8-12 September 2014, Göteborg/Mariestad, s. 209
Pages 182-183
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Conservation
Pages 182-183
Language en
Links www.pecsrl.org/PECSRL_2014_Conferen...
Keywords horticultural,biological heritage, traditional craft practice, plant propagation
Subject categories Horticulture, Nature conservation and landscape management, Learning, Technology and culture

Abstract

Gunnebo estate in the peri-urban landscape of Gothenburg and Selma Lagerlöfs Mårbacka in the heart of Värmland attracts together more than half a million visitors each year. The gardens and the performance of gardening are demanded in the experience economy, and furthermore a vital ingredient in the preservation and curation of these heritage places. What strategies does this imply for the management of the real estates? In this paper we will argue for the possibility to expand the practice of traditional gardening craft skills in the management of real estate, to support restorative curation and development of gardens and landscapes. The case concerns the gardeners’ skills in plant propagation and how this traditional craft practice could unravel the traditional antiquarian logic of heritage places. In the last century the propagation of local horticultural plants has declined and almost ceased to exist as a gardening practice in standard maintenance and management of real estate. The common approach to renew a lost perennial plant, bush or tree is to buy a similar plant in a market-garden or a nursery. The variety of cultivars is sometimes limited and the historical relevance as well as the sustainability in the local habitus and ecological context may be questioned. The consequence has been drainage of gardening craft skills and loss of biological “green” heritage. This was the motive for the national project Programme for Diversity of Cultivated Plants (POM) to collect and safeguard the biological diversity of species and cultivars as a “green heritage”. The future challenge is to involve horticultural practices to safeguard the biological diversity in a sustainable way. The result from investigations and initial tests in Mårbacka and Gunnebo shows that protected historic parks and gardens could be developed to not only preserve existing structures and material, but also to renew, transmit and display the green heritage and the intangible heritage of traditional gardening crafts.

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