Saturday, March 13, 2010

How does your Garden Grow?

Tajinder asks me to remind you all about the Redbridge Garden Survey that I posted on back in May 2009. It expires this coming May so if you haven’t completed it yet please do. Click!

While I’m on the subject, here are a couple of other items on gardens full of eastern promise.

Pictured is Shushila Patel. She featured in a piece in The Times back in 2007 titled East of Ilford, all about what she has done with her front garden, in a typical Ilford street. “An exotic extravaganza, it is an oasis of colour and scent in a grey-paved desert. A river of white Spanish stones winds up to a tiny statue of the elephant-headed god Ganesh; behind him tumbles a vast collection of terracotta pots filled with campanula and pink and purple geraniums.” Ganesh is a Hindu God.

Below is from the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences [IFEES]

It is he who produces both trellised and untrellised gardens, date palms, crops of diverse flavours, the olive and the pomegranate, alike yet different. So when they bear fruit, eat some of it, paying what is due on the day of harvest, but do not be wasteful: God does not like wasteful people (Qur'an 6:141)

There is a long tradition within the Islamic world of creating gardens. [Click to see]These are often designed as a reflection of the heavenly realm as described in the Qur'an. Such 'paradise gardens' incorporate elements of shade and water within an enclosed space, attesting to the desert environment from where Islam emerged and where such elements hold a particular significance. As Islam spread, Islamic garden design began to incorporate elements which reflected the cultural diversity of the Muslim world.

The Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, based at Cardiff University, has been commissioned by BGCI (Botanic Gardens Conservation International) to undertake research on Islamic Gardens in the UK, and especially ways in which their design and ethos might amplify messages about biodiversity conservation and sustainability, drawing upon the sources of Islam. The title of the project is "Islamic Gardens in the UK: dynamics of conservation, culture and communities". This study represents the first significant academic project on Islamic Gardens in Britain and will investigate the need, value and viability of establishing Islamic Gardens in the UK, based on Islamic ecological principles.

It is vital that we access the opinions of as many Muslims as possible in order to build up an accurate picture. The survey [click] aims to assess people's knowledge of, and familiarity with, both botanic and Islamic gardens.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for this - I missed the LBR garden survey and have now completed it. Anything that can be done to stop the madness of folk concreting both their front and back gardens if to be welcomed. I despair at times as I see yet another garden in Aldborough Hatch going under concrete - the Hatch is becoming one massive car park for not only do we now have private cars parked where once front gardens gave pleasure to us all, but commercial vehicles are now often parked here, too, instead of in vehicle parks. We have had a strip limo here for months now - and any amount of endeavour to persuade the owner to park elsewhere is to no avail. Our front garden is cultivated. Pasers-by stop to stare and enjoy the bulbs in the spring, the flowers in the summer and the lights on the shrubs at Christmas. We even had two Indian ladies who were on their way to a wedding stop, enter our garden and take photographs of each other with our flowers in the background - we were very pleased that they did so for they were on their way to a house nearby where both front and rear gardens have been concreted over!
    Ron Jeffries

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