Remapping heritage and the garden suburb: Haberfield's civic ecologies

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Gardens in Australia are considered an important site of heritage maintenance and negotiation for their capacity to materialise transformations in everyday life, design, lifestyles, demographics, environment, as well as social and cultural practices. In the case of conservation areas, gardens tend to be valued in terms of their closeness and potential to preserve specific historical elements. Plants in these gardens are cultivated to evoke period designs, such as Federation (c.1890–1915) and cottage gardens. In this article we turn to gardens and gardening to make sense of entanglements between cultural, historical and environmental elements, and we ask: what role do plants play in shaping our understanding of suburban heritage? To answer this question, we draw on oral histories, archival research and ethnography in Haberfield, the first model garden suburb in Australia. We show how plants channel and mediate multiple concerns that contest and extend ideas of heritage circulating in public discourse. Foregrounding the centrality of plants, this article contributes a dynamic definition of heritage that includes the entanglement of environmental stewardship and individual and collective heritage.




Vanni Accarigi, I., & Crosby, A. (2019). Remapping heritage and the garden suburb: Haberfield’s civic ecologies. Australian Geographer, 50(4), 511–530.

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