Earthly Delights: Enter the Garden & Phyto-cosmologies

LOCATION: The Garden Gate Project, Northdown Park Road, Margate CT9 3TP

You are welcome to attend on both days or either. To confirm attendance, please email:

Through a series of workshops and interactions over two days, Open School East, hosted by Garden Gate Community Garden, invite participants to explore the natural world and our relationship to inhabiting, revering and constraining it.
The invited speakers and practitioners will be dealing with themes such as the sentience of plants, our relationship to being in a landscape and gardening as a source of resistance and possibility.
Taking place in Garden Gate’s lovingly tended greenery Earthly Delights will be a conversation, including practical gardening, creative making and theorising.
You are welcome to attend on both days or either. To confirm attendance please email:
Friday 21 September: Enter The Garden
11.00 Raj Puri, University of Kent – The Ethnobotany of ‘The Garden’
A presentation of what ethnobotany is and how the idea of the garden can be explored across diverse cultures through the use of some of its key concepts.
Trained as an ecological anthropologist and ethnobiologist, over the past 25 years Raj has been studying the historical ecology of a rainforest valley in Indonesian Borneo, elucidating the causes and consequences of trade in wild animals and plants, and developing theory and methods for an applied conservation anthropology. His research is currently focused on invasive species, and other ways changes in biodiversity due to climate change threaten biocultural diversity and local livelihoods, whether far afield or closer to home; for example, responses to complex transformations in rural landscapes in Europe (Iberian cork oak landscapes and Kent agriculture)
12:00 Introduction the plants and a history of the garden by a Garden Gate community leader
12.30 Lunch: please bring your own packed lunch
13.00 Eco-poet Chris Poundwhite will be running a workshop on writing responses to our surroundings whilst leading us on a walk around the garden.
Chris Poundwhite is a poet concerned with landscape, ecology, place, and the human relationship to the non-human. He leads workshops and runs courses on ecopoetics through his business, Go to the Pine, and edits Gull, an occasional zine of minimal ecocentric writing & artwork. He also co-curates SALT: Festival of the Sea & Environment. He has an MA in C20th & C21st English Literature, with a focus on poetry, from the University of Southampton. His writings have appeared in numerous magazines and journals
Saturday 22 September: Phyto-Cosmologies
11.00 Curator and researcher Gina Buenfeld will deliver a presentation about her research followed by a discussion and small exercise in the direct perception of plants.
Gina Buenfeld is a Curator at Camden Arts Centre in London whose interests are concerned with plant ontology in relation to music and sound-based practices as a form of becoming-molecular, enabling contact with and understanding the energetic properties of non-human entities. On a sabbatical in 2017, she conducted fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon, Finnish Lapland, the Penwith region of Cornwall, and Wicklow in Ireland, where she learnt about the spiritual significance of sound, oral traditions and abstract art in Shamanic and Pagan / pre-Christian practices. Her curatorial and writing practice situates experimental music, abstract art and plants in a configuration that advocates for non-rational, feeling-led encounters with art.
13.00 Lunch: Please bring your own lunch
14.00 Yourself as a Garden
Artist and OSE associate Lizzy Rose will lead a workshop asking participants to create their own miniature garden in their own image. Using ideas from Japanese ikebana and British floristry traditions and the morning talk on plant sentience by Gina Buenfeld, participants will be given materials and time to create a miniature landscape of their own design which you will be able to take home. Materials will be provided but if you would like to use anything particular please bring it along.
Lizzy Rose lives and works in Margate. She broadly explores community, landscape, British identity and hidden culture. Lizzy Rose has a severe form of Crohn’s disease which impacts her daily life. In 2016 she received funding to research floristry and nature between the U.K. and Japan culminating in an exhibition Arrangement at Crate Studios and Project Space. Lizzy Rose is an Associate of Open School East 2018, part of the Programming Team at Crate and the Crip Theory Research Group.