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Dales Plants and Gardens 1900-1960: project methodology

Article Index

  1. Dales Plants and Gardens 1900-1960: project methodology
  2. Interviewing
  3. Questions
  4. Verification and cross-checking
  5. Conclusion
  6. Endnotes and sources
  7. All Pages



The gardens of working people in the North Yorkshire dales of Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Wensleydale are ephemeral. There are no formal plans, magazine articles and books about them. Few photographs, diaries or recipe books survive.

The gardens themselves have either disappeared under tarmac or been filled with plants as ubiquitous as a high street of chain stores.

This project is neither an elegy to the past nor driven by nostalgia for a cottage-garden look; it is wholly practical. From it public gardens are being created, and older people are being credited for the gardening knowledge they can pass on to younger generations.

Through this article, I hope to inspire others to discover more about their local plants and how they were grown. I am a gardener and I wanted to learn what worked and why in the place where I live.

For more and more people, growing food is no longer a leisure fad. It is, once again, essential for feeding themselves and their families. To grow our own food, we not only need modern science, we also need to listen to a generation which can tell us how local food was grown in the past, before that generation and its knowledge are lost to us.

For more information about the Dales Plants and Gardens 1900-1960 project, contact Sally Reckert.

To read more about what people grew in their gardens in the North Yorkshire Dales, please click here.