The Natural Home of Unruly Outsiders

What makes a weed? And who decides? Can we call a plant a weed if it’s beautiful, feeds the web of ecology and was deliberately – even forcibly – moved to our gardens from foreign climes. Behaving in a way that is deemed disorderly and unseemly to those in power, these rebel plants mirror the people who were cast out of the mainstream and told they are out of place.

The Garden at Junction Works has been left a forgotten industrial corner, in an urban landscape – the natural home of unruly outsiders. We will be exploring this district of weeds and considering its place in the history of British industrial capitalism and Empire. Through a series of events over the next year we will think about the weeds ability to reflect the marginalised and other, looking into the potentials in developing queer and postcolonial ecologies. Questioning if we can build a radical horticulture through illicit seed collections.

This series of public events will begin with a botanical survey of the Grade II-listed building of Junction Works. By documenting the post-industrial flora, mould and fungi as key inhabitants of both the interior and exterior of the building, the definition of ‘heritage’ will be challenged and expanded. It will incorporate the ‘lesser inhabitants’ of the local post-industrial landscape that do not necessarily care about the limits set by human enclosures.

What makes a weed? And who decides? Can we call a plant a weed if it’s beautiful, feeds the web of ecology and was deliberately – even forcibly – moved to our gardens from foreign climes. Behaving in a way that is deemed disorderly and unseemly to those in power, these rebel plants mirror the people who were cast out of the mainstream and told they are out of place.

The Garden at Junction Works has been left a forgotten industrial corner, in an urban landscape – the natural home of unruly outsiders. We will be exploring this district of weeds and considering its place in the history of British industrial capitalism and Empire. Through a series of events over the next year we will think about the weeds ability to reflect the marginalised and other, looking into the potentials in developing queer and postcolonial ecologies. Questioning if we can build a radical horticulture through illicit seed collections.

This series of public events will begin with a botanical survey of the Grade II-listed building of Junction Works. By documenting the post-industrial flora, mould and fungi as key inhabitants of both the interior and exterior of the building, the definition of ‘heritage’ will be challenged and expanded. It will incorporate the ‘lesser inhabitants’ of the local post-industrial landscape that do not necessarily care about the limits set by human enclosures.