Cultivating natures: homes and gardens in late modernity

Mark Bhatti, Andrew Church

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we seek to engage with contemporary environmental debates concerning human-nature relations at the everyday level. Our focus is on the domestic or home garden, which we argue is a significant locale for understanding human-nature relations. Secondary empirical data illustrate the growth of gardening and its connections to changes in housing tenure, consumption patterns and the `commodification of nature' by the garden industry. Primary empirical data on the meanings of home and garden (and gardening activities) are utilised to understand the relations between human agency and contemporary human-nature relations. The findings suggest that a variety of social and economic processes encourage utilitarian and consumerist orderings of nature in gardens. But the meanings of gardens are also structured by personal practices, often reflecting relationships with family and friends, that produce complex and personalised connections with nature that illustrate the ambiguity of human-nature relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-383
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • garden
  • home
  • human agency
  • leisure
  • nature
  • space


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