Twelve weeks in 2020

edge – roadside – soft estate – unofficial landscape – plant refuge – cultural echo – long park – cultivated wild

This publication arose from a series of walks I took along my verge in 2020. I walked close by my house noticing the season evolving through the changing plants. For the book each week’s collection of gathered flowers, identified and named in English, Gaelic and Latin is paired with a word relating to the verge.

The verge is a good illustration of our wider relationship with the land and provides an accessible example of many ways that we can engage with the landscape. It is an important locus in our landscape for cultural, ecological and metaphorical reasons. It often provides a place where plants, previously common but now gone from the surrounding landscape, can grow and survive. A relic of the commons, it is a cultural marker of past land use, marking where communal management gave a different attitude to the land around us. The verge is also a locus where people feel free to be creative, a neutral space available for personal expression and exchange. It is a place which reflects our changing cultural norms.

With Covid forcing people to stay close to home and become more intimate with their immediate surroundings it seemed important to mark my locality with a more detailed observation of my verge. With each of us noticing changes in our close surroundings we can become more aware of our rapidly changing environment.