|Dotter, J. 1994. Cultivating people-plant relationships in the community and cultural heritage gardens of San Jose, California, 1977-1992. In: Joel Flagler and Raymond P. Poincelot, eds., People-Plant Relationships: Setting Research Priorities, A National Symposium (proceedings), Hayworth Press, Inc., Binghamton, NY 13904-1580.|
This paper documents important people-plant relationships to be found in San Jose's ethnically diverse Community and Cultural Heritage Gardens. Unpublished University research, local magazine articles and newspaper stories are cited which show how partnerships with grassroots community groups have contributed to the garden programs sustainability. Preliminary findings, with investigative surveys, suggest that more use could be made of the non-English speaking gardeners who are skilled horticulturalists.
This paper raises familiar questions and long-standing problems, connected with the operation and maintenance of user-developed gardens. Recommendations are made for the effective management of public gardens with volunteers. San Jose Community Gardens are contrasted with other Parks Division maintained public landscapes. This research paper closes with suggested methods for starting similar programs elsewhere.