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    I wish to acknowledge that Martha Works's comments and presentations suggested to me that it might be time to revisit the dooryard garden and that conversations with Michel Conan suggested some fruitful paths of investigation. I am grateful to Maria Elisa Christie for asking me to review the articles in this issue of the Geographical Review and to the other contributors, from whom I have learned much. I thank Martha Works, Daniel W. Gade, Mary Killgore Gade, Carolyn V. Prorok, and two unnamed reviewers who looked at earlier versions of this article. I thank Wendy Patzewitch and Nancy Volkman, who helped with technical details in the preparation of the manuscript.


ABSTRACT. Investigations of dooryard gardens, kitchen gardens, home gardens, and houselot gardens fall unequally into one of three groupings. The first are those that treat the plants in the gardens as biological entities and define a space considered a culturally controlled biological community or habitat. The second are those that consider plants cultural traits and the space defined by their positions a setting for household activities. The third conceives of plants as design elements within a garden or a landscape that frames a house or provides a setting for formal human performances. Recent decades have witnessed a broadening focus in the study of gardens, from spatial characteristics and biological content to social and cultural concerns such as reciprocity networks, contested spaces, and the concept of “dwelling.”