Knowing that I want to research agriculture and gardening around the historical time period and location of my SCA persona (9th century eastern Ireland), and that I want to translate that research into real, live gardens and landscaping, I have a big question to answer.
Where do I start?
Plant use is a tremendous field that spans the entire world for all of human history, and active cultivation is only slightly less broad. I know I want to get "into the weeds" eventually, but it's hard to produce something you can present as a discrete project without a mission statement.
I also happen to be house shopping, so anything that requires me having land available for longer than a season is out for the time being. That's probably a good thing, since I tend to dive in piece by piece without a coherent idea of the overall context unless I'm forced to plan ahead. So plan ahead I shall!
And thus, my question is born: What are the types of gardens and cultivation that were used in and around 9th century Ireland, and what are the individual features and plants in each type?
This will be my first incremental project on what I hope will be a fun and engaging research journey. I have a pretty good number of books and publications to peruse and collect information. My local library system has been great for getting references shipped in from elsewhere!
This blog is set up specifically to be my project journal for all of my work with medieval plant research, so feel free to follow along as I nerd out about the history of my favorite outdoor pastime!