Peaceful, pleasant and private: the British domestic garden as an ordinary landscape

Gurmukh Bhatti, Andrew Church, Amanda Claremont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper uses narrative accounts of private gardens in Britain from the Mass-Observation Archive (MO) to explore ideas of landscape, privacy and attachment that emergefrom daily practices and routines in these ordinary domestic spaces. We argue for the domesticgarden as a vernacular or ordinary landscape that displays tensions between the private and thepublic nature of home within ambivalent emotional responses. Extended personal narratives offerprivileged access to a site of intense engagement and carefully guarded privacy, yet with varyinglevels of attachment. The garden is a space well described in Britain in its public form but lesswell known as a private, everyday landscape. In this way a cultural landscape study becomes acontemporary critical geography of an ordinary space.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLandscape Research
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2013


  • gardens
  • narrative
  • privacy
  • Mass-Observation Archive
  • ordinary landscapes


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