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Radical Gardening, By George McKay

Books Of The Year: Vegetable plots, and the red roots of a green revolution

If you thought gardening was a tame and rather bourgeois pursuit, here is a book to make you think again.

George McKay traces the ways in which gardening and the garden have been, and remain, central to radical politics, from the Hyde Park riots of the 1860s, through the social utopianism of the garden city movement, the progressive left-wing and reactionary right-wing versions of organic gardening, foreign plants and the politics of immigration, peace gardens, gay gardens, counter-cultural gardens of the 1960s, and up to the "guerrilla gardening" on urban wasteland today. A fascinating and erudite history that made me want to go and cultivate my garden.