Garden Talk: Gardening Communities

27 November 2021

Gardening Communities

Saturday 27 November

2.00pm – 3.00pm

Join Martha Adonai Williams, Glasgow-based grower and writer and Rachel Pimm, researcher and artist, as they talk about empowering people through gardening and the possibility and necessity of bringing a decolonial* lens to the practice of horticulture.

*What do we mean when we say decolonising the garden?
Garden history and the history of gardening in Britain and Europe was influenced by plant collectors gathering seeds and specimens from around the world. Much of the horticultural knowledge we have today comes from the 19th century study of plants brought to this country at the height of global trade. Plants were named and re-named and through this process of building scientific knowledge, gathered through the perspective of the West, meant that other plant histories and knowledge, already deeply woven into the culture of indigenous populations from where the plants originated, was lost. At Hospitalfield we are interested in acknowledging these rich and important histories, understanding the journey that plants took to come here and their meaning within other cultures. We are developing a programme where we all can learn and discuss and see beyond our own history of horticulture.

Booking your tickets here


Recommended reading:

My Garden and Among Flowers, Jamaica Kinkaid

‘Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae), and Soursop (Annonaceae), 2021’ by Veronica Ryan OBE

Art and the Public Realm Bristol – Seeds of Change: Floating Ballast Seed Garden


About Martha Adonai Williams

Martha Adonai Williams is a writer, facilitator, producer, Black feminist and friend. Her practice departs to and returns from black feminist world-making, always, with regular layovers in front of trash tv or at the allotment. Her work considers the wilderness and margins as sites of resistance, refusal and homecoming. She works with writing and storytelling as therapeutic tools and as methods for community building. Her recent work has been shown as part of Fringe of Colour films and published in MAP magazine. She runs call&response black feminist writing community, programmes for Glasgow Zine Library and curates SBWN’s annual Metaphors for a Black Future programme.

About Rachel Pimm

Rachel Pimm (b. Harare, 1984, lives Northamptonshire UK) is a research based artist working in sculpture, text, photography, video and performance to explore environments and their materialities, histories and politics. They are interested in the potential of surfaces and matter to transform. Their recent UK based work has been included in programmes including Artangel, Focal Point, The Serpentine Galleries, Whitechapel Gallery, Jerwood Space, Chisenhale Gallery and The Royal Academy as well as internationally. Residencies include Loughborough University Chemical Engineering, Gurdon Institute of Genetics at Cambridge University, Rabbit Island, Michigan, USA, and as Whitechapel Gallery Writer in Residence 2019-20. Rachel is Associate Lecturer at Camberwell and has a forthcoming commission with Arts Catalyst in 2022 about the metaphor in nature writing.



This talk will take place in person at Hospitalfield and will be seated and amplified. Hospitalfield Café, Garden and Music Room is wheelchair accessible via a ramp into the Gardens and there are wide pathways throughout the Walled Gardens. The grounds are sometimes uneven with a mixture of bark and grass paths. Hospitalfield would like to prepare with you for your visit and give any information which could help, so please do get in touch by emailing or phoning 01241656124. There is accessible parking available on site by the entrance to the Garden.



1. Rachel Pimm photo credit Ruth Bridget Brennan

2. Martha Adonai Williams courtesy of Martha Adonai Williams

3. Gardening Club volunteers credit Hospitalfield


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