1. The Virtues of Gardening

  1. Dan O'Brien PhD Research Fellow Associate Lecturer
  1. Isis Brook PhD, MA senior lecturer

Published Online: 13 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324563.ch1

Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone

Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone

How to Cite

Brook, I. (2010) The Virtues of Gardening, in Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone (ed D. O'Brien), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324563.ch1

Editor Information

  1. Oxford Brookes University, UK

Author Information

  1. University of Central Lancashire, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 24 SEP 2010

Book Series:

  1. Philosophy for Everyone

Book Series Editors:

  1. Fritz Allhoff

Series Editor Information

  1. Western Michigan University, USA

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444330212

Online ISBN: 9781444324563



  • the good life, gardens and their fundamental role - in living “the good life” and developing virtues;
  • virtues of gardening;
  • gardening activity - improving people and land, helping in nurturing plants;
  • gardening, improving the moral character of those engaging in it;
  • definition of garden - enclosed or demarcated outside space with living plants;
  • notion of a good garden - via examination of what is good about gardening;
  • dominant discourses, on protecting wild nature from human interference;
  • three gardening activities - improving gardens objectively;
  • garden as quasi-ecosystem – mulching, weeding and composting;
  • patience, a quality nurtured in gardening - involvement and the outer fruits of the involvement


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • What Counts as a Garden

  • How Gardening Improves the Land

  • How Gardening Improves Us

  • Notes