Goths in the Garden

[ After we made some reference to the apparent incompatibility of permablitzing and goth culture in a recent newsletter we received several responses from some wonderful ecologically-minded goths, who are involved in activities such as permaculture, homesteading, even tall ship rigging!  Perhaps the most heartwarming and also awesomely hilarious came from Emily, who writes: ]

Hi Permablitz team, 

It's so funny that you've had people share goth gardening stories with you, because my friends and I once thought we were the only goths in the garden, and then over the years have realised there's quite a big underground black draped, green thumbed gardening scene out there!

As young adults, two close friends and I used to covertly partake in environmental rehabilitation programs during the day and then don our corsets, doc martens, fishnets and big hair to head out at night. So secretive was one of my friends about not disclosing her day work with Conservation Volunteers that a friend in the goth scene once quizzed whether she was a sex-worker and that's why she wouldn't confess her profession! When we finally did tell another friend in the goth scene, he confided that he too cared about the environment and had a particular interest in bats (no great surprise there!). He then bought us books by the Australian conservationist Harry Butler to the nightclub he DJd at, carefully concealed in black plastic bags so as to preserve the secrecy of the goth gardeners. Later we spent a stint living in the UK and used to alternate our weekends either volunteering for local conservation causes or traveling to Germany to attend goth music festivals. Attached is a photo of me at/after a recent blitz wearing a souvenir t-shirt from one of the festivals, Zillo, with my friend Leoni who clearly embraces her hippy side far more than her goth side these days. Over the years our dedication to gardening has stood strong, but our involvement in the goth scene has definitely faded. But as they say, 'once you turn black you don't turn back', and we'll still crank old goth favourites on the stereo and laugh in glee when we hear gossip from the goth scene about prominent goths taking up horticulture courses. Clearly we weren't the only ones with black eyeliner and green thumbs!

Happy gardening, 


[ We love it! Thanks so much Emily and Leoni! 

Emily is also involved in Putting Down Roots Seed Bank a gardening and food security project for vulnerable migrants. They need urgent donations of seed and small gardening tools! More info here (PDF) ]

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