Renaissance for sustainable gardening practices

Many of our gardening practices fail to take into account their environmental impact or biodiversity. And it’s why different tools and methods may be needed. A new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg presents historical gardening practices that can also be applied today.

Foto: Sara Kvistborn

“While my research is historical and retrospective, it is also focused on finding solutions to contemporary problems,” says Joakim Seiler, a collaborative doctoral student at the Department of Conservation and Head Gardener at Gunnebo House and Gardens in Mölndal.

Gunnebo House has served as the laboratory for Joakim Seiler’s doctoral thesis work, allowing him to study how lawns and hedges were tended in the 18th century and how they could be tended today. His study has resulted in proposals for new approaches that are not only focused on skilled practices as a way of preserving historic gardens and remembering the past, but also shedding light on these practices as meaningful activities in themselves for people in the present.

“This kind of approach to gardening encourages quality and sustainability and combines best practice from the past with contemporary concerns for biodiversity and sustainability, as well as people’s passion for cultural heritage and their interest in learning about the past.”