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The Poor on Poverty and Radical Gardening

Is the garden really a place of peace? Laurie Taylor explores the turbulent history of radical gardening with George McKay. Also Tracy Shildrick's study of the poor of Teesside.

Gardening is the epitome of a peaceful pasttime, associated as it is with semi-somnolent suburban weekends, the sound of hedges being carefully clipped and the reassuring aroma of freshly mown grass. The notion of 'radical' gardening implies little more than a concerted attack on the mass of weeds accumulated in an herbaceous border or a garden makeover culminating in a fully decked patio. However, there is a radical history to gardening and it has been the site of protest and counterculture in Britain from the Levellers and the Diggers in the 17th century to today's so-called Guerrilla Gardeners. On today's Thinking Allowed Laurie is joined by George McKay and Tim Jordan to discuss the protest, politics and plots of the garden.
Also on the programme, Tracy Shildrick on her illuminating study of the underprivileged of Teesside and why nobody describes themselves as poor.
Producer: Charlie Taylor.

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30 minutes


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