How planting an artichoke in a mixed border made me reflect on equity

A very brief musing

Photo by Ingo Doerrie on Unsplash

As some people know, I have 2 businesses. In one I help organisations put people at the forefront of their thinking, in the other I design gardens.

Last week I spent most of the week designing a special garden. It is intended to make people think about getting involved in gardening, their own, or a community space. It’s been a week of excitement, frustration and pure creative glee!

I wanted to create a space where flowers, grasses and edibles sat next to each other, providing mutual benefits; attracting, or discouraging, certain insects; providing long, mixed seasons of interest and providing input to all our senses.

As I wrote my artistic statement (yes, really), I realised that my words reflected current thinking and best practice in organisations that aim to have a diverse, engaged, challenging and contributing workforce. I considered that how we get the best from our people is sitting them within a mutually beneficial environment, where they can do their best, be a bit prickly next to the gentlest other, respect each others’ differences and providing mutual benefit and support (sometimes against unwanted predators) where needed.

Of course, there are other considerations. They require sustenance, watering, different levels & types of nurturing. While the plants sit happily together in a border, they need different attention in different conditions.

Kinda like people… who’d have thought it?

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