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Background Home gardens are an integral part of many traditional land use systems around the world. They are subject to various conversion processes and undergo a variety of changes. We were interested if change is an ongoing process in farmers’ home gardens of Eastern Tyrol (Austria). Methods In Sillian, 16 farmers’ home gardens (FHGs) were studied. They had been studied in 1998 and were revisited in 2013 including again a botanical inventory of cultivated and non-cultivated plants, and structured interviews on appearance, management and plant use. In 2017, all the 16 gardens were visited again to verify whether any visible change on spatial configuration had occurred. Results The home garden size had decreased between 1998 and 2013. A wider range of sizes was observed. The occurrence of plant taxa per garden was the same but an increase in the standard deviation of occurrence is seen. Plant diversity (occ./m²) increased between 1998 and 2013. Seventy-nine plant taxa were no longer cultivated in 2013, but 95 new plant taxa were being cultivated. The correlation between garden size and occurrence was not significant, i.e. small gardens might host many different plant taxa or large gardens might have fewer plant taxa. The occurrence for certain use categories was not significantly different between the years, except for the increase in the occurrence of plant taxa used as food and the food subcategory spice. The mean abundance of individuals for all plant taxa showed a significant decrease between the years. In 2013, an increase in standard deviation of abundance is seen. The variation in the different use categories expressed in abundance between the years was not significantly different, except for the decrease in the abundance of plant taxa used as food. Between 1998 and 2017, six home gardens showed a change of their spatial configuration (replacement by raised beds; merging with other structures; conversion to lawn). One FHG shows signs of abandonment. Conclusions In Sillian, gardens are by no way static agroecological units, but are dynamic and individual in their appearance, composition and function. Farmers’ home gardens in Sillian show a trend towards becoming more individual, i.e. conversion from being a product of a homogenous local cultural script of the community into an area where gardeners define more individually the role that farmers’ homegardens are expected to play for them or their family.
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R E S E A R C H Open Access
The changing face of farmershome
gardens: a diachronic analysis from Sillian
(Eastern Tyrol, Austria)
Brigitte Vogl-Lukasser and Christian R. Vogl
*
Abstract
Background: Home gardens are an integral part of many traditional land use systems around the world. They are
subject to various conversion processes and undergo a variety of changes. We were interested if change is an
ongoing process in farmershome gardens of Eastern Tyrol (Austria).
Methods: In Sillian, 16 farmershome gardens (FHGs) were studied. They had been studied in 1998 and were
revisited in 2013 including again a botanical inventory of cultivated and non-cultivated plants, and structured
interviews on appearance, management and plant use. In 2017, all the 16 gardens were visited again to verify
whether any visible change on spatial configuration had occurred.
Results: The home garden size had decreased between 1998 and 2013. A wider range of sizes was observed. The
occurrence of plant taxa per garden was the same but an increase in the standard deviation of occurrence is seen.
Plant diversity (occ./m
2
) increased between 1998 and 2013. Seventy-nine plant taxa were no longer cultivated in
2013, but 95 new plant taxa were being cultivated. The correlation between garden size and occurrence was not
significant, i.e. small gardens might host many different plant taxa or large gardens might have fewer plant taxa.
The occurrence for certain use categories was not significantly different between the years, except for the increase
in the occurrence of plant taxa used as food and the food subcategory spice. The mean abundance of individuals
for all plant taxa showed a significant decrease between the years. In 2013, an increase in standard deviation of
abundance is seen. The variation in the different use categories expressed in abundance between the years was
not significantly different, except for the decrease in the abundance of plant taxa used as food. Between 1998 and
2017, six home gardens showed a change of their spatial configuration (replacement by raised beds; merging with
other structures; conversion to lawn). One FHG shows signs of abandonment.
Conclusions: In Sillian, gardens are by no way static agroecological units, but are dynamic and individual in their
appearance, composition and function. Farmershome gardens in Sillian show a trend towards becoming more
individual, i.e. conversion from being a product of a homogenous local cultural script of the community into an
area where gardeners define more individually the role that farmershomegardens are expected to play for them
or their family.
Keywords: Gardening, Garden, Subsistence, Ethnobotany, Agrobiodiversity, Land use change, Transition,
Sustainability, Alps, Mountain farming, Agroecology, Homegarden
* Correspondence: Christian.vogl@boku.ac.at
Division of Organic Farming, Department for Sustainable Agricultural
Systems, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna,
Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria
© The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to
the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver
(http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Vogl-Lukasser and Vogl Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (2018) 14:63
https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-018-0262-3
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Background
Home gardens are an integral part of many traditional
land use systems around the world [15]. In Europe,
traditional land use systems focusing on subsistence and
the local exchange of produce have seen dramatic changes
in recent decades as a result of various socio-economic
transformations that are also perceived to be a threat to
the continuation of diversified agroecosystems [69].
The second half of the twentieth century is often iden-
tified as the period in which agriculture shifted from a
traditional, subsistence-oriented agrarian mode of pro-
duction to a modern, commercially oriented one [1012].
In Eastern Tyrol, that period saw the abandonment of
arable subsistence farming (e.g. the production of rye
and wheat) in the mountainous parts of the region and
many labour-intensive manually operated subsistence
practices (e.g. the gathering of wild plants for food/medi-
cinal purposes [13,14]), as was the case in other parts of
Europe as well [11,15]. Decisions were taken in Eastern
Tyrol to specialise in grassland with higher livestock
productivity and a strong focus on national and inter-
national markets [11,16].
There have also been changes in farmershome gar-
dens (FHGs) in Eastern Tyrol. Until the 1960s, FHGs
were small, fenced, horticulturally managed plots with
limited plant diversity focusing on medicinal use and
spices. In 1998, these FHGs had increased in their diver-
sity, size and importance for subsistence, with some
plant taxa even entering the garden from fields in dis-
tinct environments [17,18], as also observed for ex-
ample by Coomes and Ban [19], showing that FHGs are
a dynamic system [17,20]. Indeed, home gardens are
not only recognised worldwide as multi-purpose, eco-
logical and socially sustainable systems [13,21], but
also as exhibiting changes over time in line with the
needs and views of those managing these agroecosys-
tems [2,17,22].
As dynamic systems, home gardens are subject to vari-
ous conversion processes worldwide and undergo a var-
iety of changesgarden modernisation does not occur
uniformly [23]with regard to plant diversity, functional
diversity, structural diversity, knowledge and resource
inputs for example [17,2427]. Changing cultural
values, socio-economic, demographic, political and cli-
matic conditions, plus technical and infrastructural de-
velopmentamong other variablesare mentioned as
underlying driving forces of this [2,17,25,2830].
The collection of data at different time periods could
open up new perspectives for understanding the dynam-
ics of the home garden system [3,25,31]. FHGs in East-
ern Tyrol were studied in 1998 with regard to their
dynamics from the 1960s to their status in 1998. The
present study analysed the dynamics of the management,
structure, plant use (occurrence and abundance) and
function of FHGs in Sillian (Eastern Tyrol) between
1998 and 2013. Furthermore, data from 2017 were also
studied to identify whether FHGs continued to be pro-
duction systems.
Methods
Study area
The district of Lienz (Eastern Tyrol) is located in the
Austrian part of the Eastern Alps. The large altitudinal
gradient from 600 m to almost 4000 m above sea level
gives rise to a narrow sequence of different natural and
agricultural zones. Annual precipitation in the region is
8261354 mm, and the mean annual temperature is
2.86.9 °C (values depend on exposure and altitude). This
broad range of natural conditions within a small area has
led to a highly diverse pattern of human-environment re-
lationships [32]. Adaptive management of natural re-
sources by Alpine small farmers has created a typically
diverse and multifunctional landscape. The historical form
of agriculture in this region can be described as mountain
cereal grazing[33] in which the farming of arable land
(up to 1700 m a.s.l.) for cereal cultivation, field vegetables,
fibre crops, etc. and the farming of a wide range of domes-
ticated animals, with a low number of individuals per spe-
cies, were the main components of the subsistence system
until the 1960s [13,17,34]. Large parts of todays mead-
owlands used to be tilled up to an altitude of 1700 m.
Farming systems in Eastern Tyrol have undergone change
in the past few decades. The cultivation of cereals, fibre
crops and field vegetables (e.g. Pisum sativum L., Vicia
faba L., Brassica rapa L. ssp. rapa) has declined in the last
three decades due to unfavourable economic conditions
and the need for high labour inputs. The agricultural focus
of mountain farms today is on grasslands, with the cul-
tural landscape dominated by meadowland in lower zones,
where hay is produced for winter fodder, and by pasture-
land in the higher alpine zones, where cattle remain
throughout the summer. The economy of the majority of
mountain farms in Eastern Tyrol is based on cattle breed-
ing, milk production and timber harvesting for cash in-
come. Some farmers offer beds to tourists and/or process
milk, meat and other products from the farm. For their
own consumption, some farmers diversify their basic ac-
tivities by also keeping sheep, goats, pigs, chicken or bees,
and/or growing fruit, herbs and vegetables (e.g. potatoes).
Farming is combined with different kinds of off-farm
labour, with federal subsidies playing an important role in
farm income [13].
The village of Sillian, one of the 33 villages in Eastern
Tyrol, is situated at 1100 m.a.s.l. (village centre) in the
Pustertal valley in the western part of the district of
Lienz. The village includes various hamlets, such as
Sillian Berg and Arnbach, and has a population of
2044 in total. In this village, 124 farms manage a total
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of 2964 ha, an area that is constantly declining in
parallel with a decreasing number of farmers working
the land [3539].
Data collection and analysis
Farmershome gardens, according to the local percep-
tion of the term Bauerngarten used in this area, are
small, manually operated horticultural cultivation spaces
adjacent to the farmershouseholds, in which annual,
biennial and perennial cultivated plants are grown (also
following the definition of the previous study in 1998
[13]). In 1998, FHGs were perceived by the gardeners
and the authors of that study as discrete units with a de-
terminate boundary (called FHG with traditional spatial
configuration), easily identified as a unit used entirely
for horticulturally cultivated plant taxa and clearly dis-
tinct from, for example, arable plots, orchards, pure or-
namental plots in front of the house or recreational
areas close to the homestead [18]. Arable land (e.g.
planted with potatoes) where ploughing is characteris-
tic, orchards where fruit trees (e.g. apple) are a domin-
ant feature or gardens where only ornamental plants
are grown were not included in the data on FHGs pre-
sented here.
In this paper, cultivated plant taxa refer to domesti-
cated plants and wild plants under incipient manage-
ment (tolerated, encouraged or protected) [40] and the
family member primarily responsible for managing the
garden is called the gardener.
In 1998, 196 FHGs in 12 villages in Eastern Tyrol, in-
cluding Sillian, were studied [17,18,20,41]. In 2013,
out of this sample of 12 villages, one village (Sillian) was
selected for a comparative study and 16 FHGs here, cor-
responding to 16 farm households (n= 16), were investi-
gated. Every garden recorded in 1998 was revisited in
2013. In 1998, the average age of the gardeners was 49,
in 2013 53 years of age, with no statisticalyl significant
difference. We do refer to specific gardens by adding to
the abbreviation FHG our internal respondents/Garden
ID such as e.g. FHG_1011. In two cases where the gar-
den had been relocated, the new location was studied. In
Sillian in 2013 a total of 2060 inhabitants were living.
The village counts with 67 farms. To our observation all
these farms do have FHGs. Therefore, the sample of 16
FHGs represents roughly a quarter of all FHGs of
Sillian.
The reasons this village was sampled were the typic-
ality and representativeness of the village, its hamlets
and FHGs in Eastern Tyrol. Sillian is a village with
FHGs in the urbanised valley plain, but also along a
gradient of altitude up to 1573 m.a.s.l., and along a
gradient of distance with FHGs also situated in remote
valleyscomparable to Eastern Tyrolean villages such
as Matrei or Virgen for example.
In 1998 and 2013, a botanical inventory of cultivated
and non-cultivated, i.e. spontaneously reproducing
plants [41], was undertaken. In 1998 this was done dur-
ing three visits in the growing season in early May, July
and October, while in 2013 the inventory was con-
ducted in midsummer (July). Therefore plants only
grown in the spring and autumn of 1998 were excluded
from the comparative evaluation. For the botanical in-
ventories in 1998 and 2013, wherever possible a sterile
or fertile plant voucher specimen was collected and
added to the authorscollection and deposited in the
herbarium at the University of Natural Resources and
Life Sciences in Vienna. Plants were identified mainly
in the field or in the laboratory based on the collected
vouchers, as also described by [42].
Structured interviews were conducted with each re-
sponsible gardener. Among other topics, these inter-
views collected information on the appearance and
management of FHGs and on plant use. Furthermore in
2013 the person responsible for the garden (the gar-
dener) was interviewed about the changes observed in
the recent period since 1998.
In 2017 all the FHGs were visited once to be photo-
graphed and checked to verify whether it was still pos-
sible to identify the FHGs at the homestead and if any
visible changes on spatial configurationcompared to
2013had occurred. No interviews, inventory or mea-
surements were conducted in 2017.
The nomenclature used in this paper is in accordance
with [43]. Cultivated plants are aligned with the official
nomenclature of the International Code for the Nomen-
clature of Cultivated Plants (ICNCP), as acknowledged
also by the International Code of Nomenclature for
algae, fungi and plants (ICBN). Inventoried plants were
identified at genus, species (sp.), subspecies (ssp.) or var-
ietas (var.) taxonomical levels. Popular garden plants
were summarised under the term Cultivars (e.g. all six
different Rosa hybrid categories from 1998 were sum-
marised as just Rosa L. Cultivars) or Groups (e.g. Allium
cepa L. Aggregatum Grp.). Some names used in 1998 are
no longer valid and these plants were renamed. In the
present paper, all the ranks mentioned are referred to
below as plant taxa.
Whenever possible and permitted, photographs were
taken and deposited at the University of Natural Re-
sources and Life Sciences in Vienna. Collected data were
stored and categorised in an MS ACCESS (Microsoft
Inc. 2013) database and subsequently analysed with SPSS
(IBM SPSS Statistics 24).
The impact of the independent nominal variable year
(1998 or 2013) on the dependent metric variables, such
as number of species or number of individuals, was
tested with a paired t-test. Correlations between garden
size and other metric variables were tested using the
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Pearson correlation. A level (alpha) of < 0.05 was used
when referring to significance and 0.05 to < 0.1 when
referring to a tendency. Due to the small sample size, no
tests were performed for the frequency of nominal vari-
ables (e.g. on management practices).
In the present analysis the parameters studied were
defined as follows:
Occurrence: the absolute frequency of plant taxa per
FHG;
Abundance: the absolute frequency of individual
plants per plant taxon per FHG;
Relative occurrence: the occurrence of plant taxa
per FHG compared to total occurrence of plant taxa
in the sample n(sum of plant taxa per garden
divided by sum of all plant taxa in all gardens × 100,
expressed in %);
Relative abundance: the abundance per FHG
compared to total abundance in the sample n
(sum of individual plants per garden divided by all
individual plants in all gardens × 100, expressed in %);
FHG plant diversity: occurrence per m
2
;
FHG abundance: abundance per m
2
;
Functional characteristics: occurrence/abundance
of different plant-use categories (ornamental, food,
fodder, human medicinal, veterinary medicinal,
fence, customs, fertiliser).
Results
Management
In 2013, all 16 gardeners were still managing their FHG
in Sillian, compared to 1998. In 2013, the FHGs were
still located right next to the farmhouses (mean distance:
1998, 10 m; 2013, 13 m). Fourteen FHGs were located
on the same spot as that identified in the 1998 survey.
Two FHGs had been relocated to another, steeper area
because the flat areas of the former FHGs were needed
for a path and a parking area respectively.
All 16 gardeners in 1998 were female, and of these,
11 were still managing the garden in 2013. Of the five
successors, one was male. In 2013, 15 FHGs had a sin-
gle gardener who was primarily responsible for the
FHG (16 in 1998). One FHG was managed by several
family members (not all of them lived in the household)
and a neighbour due to the advanced age of the previ-
ous responsible gardener (FHG_1011). The most im-
portant motivation of gardeners in both years was an
appreciation for home-grown produce. Of the 16 gar-
deners surveyed in 2013, 14 said that they would con-
tinue to manage the FHGs in future. Of these, three
stated that they were enthusiastic gardeners and even
wanted to expand their gardening. Ten gardeners wanted
to continue gardening at the same level. One gardener
was undecided (FHG_1012), and two gardeners had
thought about giving up gardening to avoid the related
workload (among them the male gardener; FHG_1008
and FHG_1003).
A change in equipment and supplies was rarely ob-
served. Labour had not been replaced by machinery. In
2013, manual digging of the soil and manual weeding
were still common. Synthetic pesticides were used by
one gardener in 1998 and by three gardeners in 2013.
All the gardeners interviewed used manure from their
farms own cattle. Synthetic fertilisers were not used.
The comparison between the years showed a higher fre-
quency in 2013 of the use of homemade herbal teas for
spraying plants, composting and mulching, of the use of
green manure, the presence of recreational areas and
raised beds within the FHG area, and a lower fre-
quency of intercropping within beds for example.
These differences were not statistically tested however
due to the small number of cases.
Size and spatial configuration
In 1998, 14 FHGs were separated from the surrounding
area by fences; in 2013, this number was 12.
The FHG size (arithmetic mean; 1998, 65 m
2
; 2013,
48 m
2
;p
ttest paired
= 0.056) had decreased (tendency) be-
tween 1998 and 2013 (significant difference, if outlier
FHG_1011 was excluded: 65 m
2
in 1998; 42 m
2
in 2013;
p
ttest paired
= 0.006) (Table 1).
A wider range of FHG sizes (1998: min, 30 m
2
/max:
105 m
2
) in 2013 (min, 9 m
2
/max, 134 m
2
) was observed,
increasing from 75 to 125 m
2
. In 2013, 13 FHGs showed
a similar or smaller size, and three (FHG_1015,
FHG_1011, FHG_1005) had increased their size, one of
them (FHG_1011) from 72 to 134 m
2
(Fig. 1, Table 1).
FHG_1011 was exceptional because it was the only
FHG that had almost doubled in size by 2013. This gar-
dener, and the family members who worked with her,
had expanded the cultivated area by placing various
small, horticulturally cultivated plots outside the former
boundaries of the garden in an adjacent orchard. By re-
ducing high-maintenance vegetable growing under-
taken in 1998 to various small cultivated plots and
expanding the growing of less demanding shrubs (e.g.
redcurrant Ribes rubrum L.), a clearly delimited low
maintenance home garden spacewas established, even
though it was twice the size. Family members said that
garden management was difficult for the responsible
gardener due to her advanced age and was only feasible
withtheassistanceoffamilymembers,althoughthere
was no explicit mention of her giving up gardening
altogether.
In another case (FHG_1015), the garden size was
slightly increased in 2013 by expanding the cultivated
area across the former boundary and merging it with
other structures (grassland) (Fig. 7).
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In one case (FHG_1005), in 2013 the size had been in-
creased by constructing an additional new garden with a
traditional spatial FHG configuration. Respondents men-
tioned the estimation for self-supply with home-grown
products and being passionate about gardening as rea-
sons for the increase in size. These two gardeners along
with FHG_1004 (similar size in both years) referred to
themselves as keen gardeners.
For 2013, the reduction in the size under cultivation
was achieved by converting horticulturally cultivated
area into lawn for use as a play area for example. In
three cases this led to a reduction of the clearly delim-
ited cultivated area by 50% (FHG_1003, FHG_1007
and FHG_1010) (Fig. 7). In two cases, former FHGs
were relocated, reducing the size of the new garden
(FHG_1001, FHG_1012), but maintaining the trad-
itional FHG spatial configuration. According to the re-
spondents, the reasons for reducing the area of
Table 1 Overview of quantitative data obtained from n=16
FHGs in 1998 and 2013
Year 1998 2013 p
Garden size
Mean 65.56 48.13 p= 0.056
Median 66 34
Std. deviation 28.467 37.352
Minimum 30 9
Maximum 105 134
Range 75 125
Occurrence
Mean 39.19 40.00 p= 0.799
Median 38.50 32.50
Std. deviation 12.55 16.90
Minimum 21.00 16.00
Maximum 68.00 69.00
Range 47.00 53.00
Abundance
Mean 691.75 487.13 p= 0.027
Median 681.00 335.00
Std. deviation 310.23 329.14
Minimum 220.00 87.00
Maximum 1138.00 1196.00
Range 918.00 1109.00
Plant use characteristics
(occ.)
Min/Max/Mean Min/Max/Mean
Ornamental occurrence 1/31/17.13 2/40/18.56 p= 0.880
Ornamental abundance 14/301/118.50 6/414/115.50 p= 0.492
Food occurrence 6/33/16.63 10/53/23.25 p= 0.002
Food abundance 157/1007/506.94 86/1029/398.63 p= 0.047
Spice occurrence 1/16/6.19 1/22/7.88 p= 0.137
Spice abundance 34/821/170.69 7/420/125.44 p= 0.138
Customs occurrence 0/5/0.81 0/21/2.5 p= 0.147
Customs abundance 0/25/2.19 0/62/11.81 p= 0.042
Fertiliser occurrence 0 0/12/0.94 p= 0.189
Fertiliser Abundance 0 0/314/21.63 p= 0.205
VetMed occurrence 0/2/0.63 0/10/0.81 p= 0.029
VetMet abundance 0/102/11 0/130/10.19 p= 0.186
Fodder occurrence 0/3/0.31 0/1/0.31 p= 0.792
Fodder abundance 0/102/9 0/20/3.50 p= 0.322
Human medicinal
occurrence
0/9/2.63 0/39/5.88 p= 0.121
Human medicinal
abundance
0/25/2.19 0/62/11.81 p= 0.782
Occurrence per area
Mean 0.7135 1.203 p= 0.021
Median 0.6236 1.1937
Table 1 Overview of quantitative data obtained from n=16
FHGs in 1998 and 2013 (Continued)
Year 1998 2013 p
Variance
Std. deviation 0.39 0.72
Minimum 0.31 0.25
Maximum 1.63 2.78
Range 1.33 2.53
Abundance per area
Mean 11.31 12 p= 0.700
Median 10.75 10.81
Variance 21.08 30.03
Std. deviation 4.59 5.45
Minimum 4.67 3.37
Maximum 19.39 22.31
Range 14.72 18.95
Relative occurrence
Mean 17.71 16.73 p= 0.536
Median 17.26 13.6
Std. deviation 5.63 7.07
Minimum 9.42 6.69
Maximum 30.49 28.82
Range 21.08 22.18
Relative abundance
Mean 6.25 6.25 p= 1.000
Median 6.16 4.23
Std. deviation 2.8 4.22
Minimum 1.99 1.12
Maximum 10.28 15.35
Range 8.29 14.23
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cultivation were the high labour demand (time that
needed to be invested) for gardening, the perception of
gardening as hard work or the reduced need for garden
produce.
Flora and function
Occurrence (number of plant taxa) and plant use
The total number of cultivated plant taxa found in the
16 inventoried home gardens in Sillian was 223 in 1998
and 239 in 2013 (Table 2).
There was no significant difference in the occurrence
of plant taxa per FHG between the years (arithmetic
mean; 1998, 39; 2013, 40; p
ttest paired
= 0.799) (Table 1).
In 2013, an increase in variability (e.g. expressed in the
standard deviation) could be seen (Table 1), i.e. gardens
with a higher maximum and lower minimum number of
plant taxa per garden compared to 1998 (Fig. 2).
One-hundred and six (1998) and 113 (2013) plant taxa
were found in one garden alone. Seventy-nine plant taxa
were no longer cultivated in the gardens in 2013 (com-
pared to 1998). For example, the cultivation of Cosmos
bipinnatus Cav., Centaurea cyanus L. and Vicia faba L.
had been abandoned. In 2013, 95 new plant taxa were
being cultivated, such as rocket salad (Eruca sativa Mill.)
and basil (Ocimum basilicum L.).
In 1998, 20 plant taxa, and in 2013, 16 plant taxa con-
tributed to the similarity (presence in 50% of FHGs)
(Table 3), e.g. Allium schoenoprasum L. var. schoenopra-
sum was present in 100% of FHGs in both years. Eleven
plant taxa were present in 50% of FHGs in both years.
The mean of the relative occurrence of plant taxa per
garden was 17% for both years (no significant difference
between the years; p
t-test paired
= 0.536), with gardens
containing between 7% and 30% (Table 1) of all plant
taxa identified (FHG_1015; FHG_1002; FHG_1004 were
the top three in both years).
FHG diversity (occ./m
2
) increased significantly (p
t-test
paired
= 0.021) between 1998 (arithmetic mean 0.7) and
2013 (arithmetic mean 1.2) (Fig. 3, Table 1). The highest
FHG diversity in 2013 was found in FHG_1001,
FHG_1003 and FHG_1004. Two of these gardens
(FHG_1001, FHG_1003) had been considerably reduced
in size and, according to the gardeners, a reduction was
the only way the FHG could be maintained given the
time available for gardeningeither by maintaining or
even increasing the occurrence of plant taxa. Both gar-
deners expressed unhappiness with gardening. The gar-
dener of FHG_1003 mentioned that it would be possible
to continue farming or being a farmer without having a
FHG. The gardener of FHG_1004 was one of the three
keen gardeners.
The correlation between FHG size and occurrence was
not significant for 1998 (p
PEARSON
= 0.214; correlation
coefficient 0.329) or 2013 (p
PEARSON
= 0.101; correlation
coefficient = 0.425), i.e. small gardens might host many
different plant taxa or large gardens might have fewer
plant taxa (Fig. 4).
FHGs may be characterised as being primarily man-
aged for ornamental and food uses, as the absolute num-
ber of plant taxa with ornamental use prevailed in both
years (116 plant taxa in 1998 and 155 in 2013),
followed by plant taxa used as food (79 plant taxa in
1998 and 122 in 2013). Of the eleven plant taxa occur-
ring in 50% of the FHGs in both the surveyed years
and contributing to the similarity between the years,
food function was represented by nine plant taxa.
However, as ornamental and food uses were never the
only function mentioned by the gardeners (both in
1998 and 2013), FHGs could therefore be perceived
overall as multifunctional systems.
In FHGs in Sillian, 26 plant taxa in 1998 and 117 in
2013 were categorised in more than one functional
group, e.g. nine plant taxa in 1998 and 45 in 2013 were
mentioned both for medicine and food use (or food sub-
categories), such as:
Medicinal and food/spice (e.g. Salvia officinalis L.,
Borago officinalis L.);
Medicinal and food/vegetable (e.g. Aegopodium
podagraria L., Urtica dioica L.);
Medicinal and eaten raw as food/salad (e.g. Rumex
obtusifolius L., Galinsoga ciliata (Raf.) S.F. Blake);
Medicinal and food/beverage (e.g. Nepeta cataria L.,
Mentha x piperita L.).
The variation in the different use categories expressed
in the occurrence between the years was not significantly
different, except for the increase in the occurrence of
Fig. 1 Garden size in square meters for n= 16 in 1998 and the same
n= 16 in 2013, shown as a box plot with median
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Table 2 List of plant taxa identified in n= 16 FHGs in 1998 and 2013
Scientific name Englisch name Abundance98 Occurrence98 Abundance13 Occurrence13
Acer platanoides L. Norway Maple 0 0 1 1
Achillea filipendulina Lam. Fernleaf Yerrow 0 0 1 1
Achillea millefolium L. Common Yerrow 0 0 3 1
Achillea ptarmica L. Sneezewort 10 4 14 3
Aconitum napellus L. Garden Monkshoot 0 0 1 1
Aegopodium podagraria L. Ground Elder 0 0 100 1
Agastache foeniculum (Pursh) Kuntze Anise Hyssop 1 1 0 0
Agrostemma githago L. Corn Cockle 5 1 0 0
Alcea rosea L. Hollyhock 0 0 20 2
Alchemilla L. sp. Lady's Mantle 0 0 1 1
Allium cepa L. Aggregatum Grp. Shallot 24 1 0 0
Allium cepa L. Cepa Grp. Onion 710 11 428 8
Allium fistulosum L. Welsh Onion 6 1 13 2
Allium porrum L. var. porrum Leek 151 9 204 11
Allium ramosum L. Fragrant Garlic 1 1 0 0
Allium sativum L. var. sativum Common Garlic 110 3 0 0
Allium schoenoprasum L. var. schoenoprasum Chives 521 16 342 16
Allium tuberosum Rottler ex Spreng. Oriental Garlic 0 0 11 2
Allium ursinum L. Wood Garlic 0 0 6 2
Althaea officinalis L. White Mallow 6 6 5 4
Amaranthus caudatus L. Love Lies Bleeding 3 1 0 0
Anacyclus L. sp. Anacyclus 1 1 0 0
Anemone coronaria L. Windflower 0 0 3 1
Anethum graveolens L. var. hortorum Alef. Dill 3 2 0 0
Antirrhinum majus L. Snapdragon 41 4 17 3
Apium graveolens L. var. rapaceum (Mill.) Gaudin Turnip -rooted Celery 100 8 41 6
Apium graveolens L. var. secalinum Alef. Chinese Celery 16 2 0 0
Aquilegia L. Cultivars Columbine 10 5 1 1
Aquilegia vulgaris L. Columbine 0 0 19 4
Armoracia rusticana P.Gaertn., B.Mey. et Scherb. Horseradish 7 5 47 3
Arnica montana L. Mountain Arnica 0 0 6 1
Artemisia abrotanum L. Southernwood 2 2 1 1
Artemisia absinthium L. Common Wormwood 3 3 10 4
Artemisia dracunculus L. Tarragon 3 2 1 1
Artemisia vulgaris L. Mugwort 1 1 1 1
Aruncus dioicus (Walter) Fernald var. dioicus Goat's Beard 1 1 0 0
Asparagus officinalis L. Sparrow Grass 8 5 3 2
Aster amellus L. Italian Aster 2 1 0 0
Aster cordifolius L. Blue Wood Aster 1 1 2 1
Aster dumosus L. Bushy Aster 5 4 0 0
Aster novae-angliae L. New England Aster 8 2 8 2
Aster novae-belgii L. Michaelmas Daisy 3 2 20 4
Aster tongolensis Franch. Aster 1 1 0 0
Astilbe Buch.-Ham. Ex D. Don sp. False Buck's Beard 2 1 0 0
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Table 2 List of plant taxa identified in n= 16 FHGs in 1998 and 2013 (Continued)
Scientific name Englisch name Abundance98 Occurrence98 Abundance13 Occurrence13
Aubrieta Adans. Cultivars Aubrietia 2 2 1 1
Bellis perennis L. Daisy 70 1 16 2
Beta vulgaris L. ssp. vulgaris var. rapacea K.Koch Beet 60 1 0 0
Beta vulgaris L. ssp. vulgaris var. vulgaris Beetroot 476 12 166 7
Beta vulgaris ssp. cicla (L.) W.D.J. Koch var. cicla Foliage Beet 27 4 23 3
Borago officinalis L. Borage 7 1 36 3
Brassica napus L. ssp. rapifera (Metzg.) Sinskaya Swedish Turnip 40 1 0 0
Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis L. Cauliflower 221 8 9 3
Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata (L.) Alef. Cabbage 378 11 137 7
Brassica oleracea L. var. gemmifera (DC.) Zenker Brussels Sprouts 3 2 45 1
Brassica oleracea L. var. gongylodes L. Turnip Kale 194 8 114 10
Brassica oleracea L. var. italica Plenck Broccoli 20 2 20 4
Brassica oleracea L. var. sabauda L. Savoy Cabbage 41 4 11 3
Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis (Lour.) Hanelt Chinese Cabbage 0 0 4 1
Brassica rapa L. ssp. rapa L. Turnip 122 2 31 2
Buxus sempervirens L. Common Box 4 3 21 3
Calendula L. sp. Marigold 2 1 0 0
Calendula officinalis L. Scotch Marigold 280 6 159 7
Callistephus chinensis (L.) Nees China Aster 76 5 4 1
Calystegia sepium (L.) R. Br. Bindweed 0 0 1 1
Campanula carpatica Jacq. Carpathian Harebell 1 1 0 0
Campanula glomerata L. Clustered Bellflower 8 3 0 0
Campanula L. sp. Bellflower 0 0 1 1
Campanula persicifolia L. Peach Leaved Bellflower 1 1 1 1
Cannabis sativa L. Hemp 100 1 0 0
Capsicum annuum L. Red Pepper 24 1 2 1
Capsicum frutescens L. Hot Pepper 0 0 1 1
Carum carvi L. Caraway 100 1 0 0
Centaurea cyanus L. Cornflower 12 3 0 0
Centaurea montana L. Perennial Cornflower 2 2 0 0
Cerastium tomentosum L. Snow-in-Summer 3 2 4 1
Chelidonium majus L. Greater Celadine 1 1 0 0
Chrysanthemum xgrandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitam. Chrysanthemum 1 1 0 0
Cichorium endivia L. var. crispum Lam. Endive 15 1 3 1
Cichorium endivia L. var. latifolium Lam. Escarole 105 4 6 2
Cichorium intybus L. var. foliosum Hegi Chicory Radiccio 70 1 45 3
Clarkia amoena (Lehm.) A. Nelson e J.F.Macbr. Satin Flower 10 1 0 0
Convallaria majalis L. Lily-of-the-Valley 0 0 53 4
Convolvulus tricolor L. Dwarf Morning Glory 3 2 0 0
Coriandrum sativum L. Chinese Parsley 0 0 5 1
Cosmos bipinnatus Cav. Garden Cosmos 90 4 0 0
Cucumis sativus L. Cucumber 16 2 13 4
Cucurbita maxima Duchesne ex Lam. Pumpkin 0 0 16 5
Cucurbita pepo L. Courgette 15 4 21 8
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Table 2 List of plant taxa identified in n= 16 FHGs in 1998 and 2013 (Continued)
Scientific name Englisch name Abundance98 Occurrence98 Abundance13 Occurrence13
Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link Broom 0 0 1 1
Dahlia Cav. Cultivars Dahlia 30 5 24 6
Daucus carota L. ssp. sativus (Hoffm.) Schübl. et G. Martens Carrot 1746 9 1318 10
Delphinium L. Cultivars Larkspur 4 3 0 0
Deutzia Thunb. sp. Deutsia 1 1 0 0
Dianthus barbatus L. Sweet William 186 9 52 5
Dianthus caryophyllus L. Carnation 36 4 3 2
Dianthus chinensis L. Annual Pink 9 2 0 0
Dianthus deltoides L. Maiden Pink 0 0 1 1
Dianthus gratianopolitanus Vill. Cheddar Pink 3 2 0 0
Dianthus L. sp. Carnation 0 0 1 1
Dianthus plumarius L. Pink 2 1 0 0
Dianthus seguieri Vill. 0 0 2 2
Dicentra Borkh. ex Bernh. Cultivars Bleeding Heart 8 8 5 3
Digitalis purpurea L. Foxglove 0 0 1 1
Doronicum L. sp. Leopard's Bane 6 4 11 2
Dorotheanthus bellidiformis (Burm. F.) N.E.Br. Livingstone Daisy 4 1 0 0
Echinops bannaticus Rochel ex Schrad. Blue Globe Thistle 2 2 2 2
Epilobium angustifolium L. Fire Weed 3 1 0 0
Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers. Annual Fleabane 0 0 1 1
Erigeron L. Cultivars Fleabane 1 1 0 0
Eruca sativa Mill. Rocket Salad 0 0 115 6
Eryngium planum L. Sea Holly 3 2 0 0
Eschscholzia californica Cham. California Poppy 2 1 1 1
Euonymus europaeus L. Common Spindle 0 0 1 1
Euphorbia amygdaloides L. Wood Spurge 2 1 0 0
Euphorbia helioscopia L. Sun Spurge 0 0 1 1
Filipendula ulmaria (L.) Maxim. Meadow Sweet 0 0 1 1
Foeniculum vulgare Mill. ssp. vulgare var. azoricum (Mill.)
Thell.
Florence Fennel 8 1 7 1
Forsythia Vahl Cultivars Forsythia 0 0 1 1
Fragaria vesca L. var. vesca Wild Strawberry 0 0 33 3
Fragaria vesca L. var. hortensis (Duchesne) Staudt Strawberry 12 1 0 0
Fragaria xananassa (Duchesne) Guédès Garden Strawberry 324 8 182 10
Fraxinus excelsior L. Common Ash 0 0 1 1
Fritillaria imperialis L. Fritillary 2 1 0 0
Galinsoga ciliata (Raf.) S.F. Blake Shaggy Soldier 0 0 25 1
Galium aparine L. Goosegrass 0 0 30 1
Galium odoratum (L.) Scop Sweet Woodruff 4 1 1 1
Geranium L. sp. Crane's Bill 1 1 0 0
Geranium robertianum L. Herb Robert 0 0 20 1
Geum L. Cultivars Avens 9 2 5 2
Gladiolus L. Cultivars Gladiolus 200 6 75 4
Glebionis segetum (L.) Fourr. Corn Marigold 7 1 3 1
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Table 2 List of plant taxa identified in n= 16 FHGs in 1998 and 2013 (Continued)
Scientific name Englisch name Abundance98 Occurrence98 Abundance13 Occurrence13
Glechoma hederacea L. Ground Ivy 0 0 40 1
Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Thunb.) Makino Jiaogulan 0 0 1 1
Gypsophila muralis L. Cushion Baby's Breath 0 0 1 1
Gypsophila paniculata L. Baby's Breath 2 2 2 1
Hebe Comm. Ex Juss. Cultivars Hedge Veronica 0 0 1 1
Helianthus annuus L. Common Sunflower 39 2 25 3
Helianthus pauciflorus Nutt. Pauciflorus 15 1 27 1
Helianthus tuberosus L. Jerusalem Artichoke 0 0 20 3
Heliopsis helianthoides (L.) Sweet var. scabra (Dunal) Fernald Ox Eye 1 1 6 2
Hemerocallis fulva (L.) L. Orange Daylily 0 0 10 4
Hemerocallis L. Cultivars Daylily 5 3 14 5
Heracleum sphondylium L. Hogweed 0 0 1 1
Humulus lupulus L. Common Hop 0 0 1 1
Hydrangea L. Cultivars Hydrangea 1 1 5 3
Hypericum perforatum L. St. John's Wort 2 2 8 2
Hyssopus officinalis L. Hyssop 1 1 2 2
Iberis amara L. Wild Candytuft 3 1 0 0
Iris pumila L. Cultivars Dwarf Flag 10 1 31 1
Iris sibirica L. Cultivars Siberian Iris 2 2 0 0
Iris xgermanica L. Cultivars Common Iris 27 6 42 4
Juniperus communis L. Common Juniper 1 1 0 0
Laburnum anagyroides Medik. Common Laburnum 1 1 0 0
Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata L. Cabbage Lettuce 437 16 425 14
Lactuca sativa L. var. crispa L. Leaf Lettuce 90 6 26 9
Lamium album L. White Dead Nettle 0 0 30 1
Lamium purpureum L. Purple Archangel 0 0 13 1
Lavandula angustifolia Mill. English Lavender 4 3 5 3
Leontopodium nivale (Ten.) A. Huet ex Hand.-Mazz. Edelweiss 2 2 11 2
Leonurus cardiaca L. Motherwort 0 0 5 1
Lepidium sativum L. Garden Cress 18 4 100 1
Leucanthemum heterophyllum (Willd.) DC. Oxeye Daisy 0 0 1 1
Leucanthemum ircutianum DC. Oxeye Daisy 0 0 2 1
Leucanthemum Mill. sp. Oxeye Daisy 8 4 34 3
Levisticum officinale W.D.J. Koch Lovage 9 9 11 11
Liatris spicata (L.) Willd. Button Snakeroot 1 1 0 0
Lilium bulbiferum L. Fire Lily 6 3 8 2
Lilium candidum L. Madonna Lily 0 0 9 1
Lilium L. Cultivars Lily 20 6 45 6
Lilium lancifolium Thunb. Tiger Lily 0 0 10 1
Lilium martagon L. Martagon Lily 1 1 0 0
Limonium Mill. sp. Sea Lavender 20 3 2 1
Linaria maroccana Hook. Baby Snapdragon 4 1 0 0
Linum grandiflorum Desf. Red Flax 4 1 60 1
Linum usitatissimum L. Common Flax 200 1 0 0
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Table 2 List of plant taxa identified in n= 16 FHGs in 1998 and 2013 (Continued)
Scientific name Englisch name Abundance98 Occurrence98 Abundance13 Occurrence13
Lobularia maritima (L.) Desv. Sweet Alsion 5 1 0 0
Lonicera caprifolium L. sp. Honeysuckle 0 0 1 1
Lunaria annua L. Annual Honesty 1 1 0 0
Lupinus L. Cultivars Garden Lupin 13 4 8 4
Lycium barbarum L. Box Thorn 0 0 2 1
Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. Tomato 9 2 21 4
Lysimachia punctata L. Dotted Loosestrife 19 5 11 6
Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt. Oregon Grape 1 1 0 0
Malus domestica Borkh. Apple 2 1 5 2
Malva neglecta Wallr. Common Mallow 4 1 2 1
Malva sylvestris L. ssp. mauritiana (L.) Boiss. Ex Cout. Mallow 2 1 0 0
Malva sylvestris L. ssp. sylvestris Blue Mallow 0 0 1 1
Malva verticillata L. Curled Mallow 0 0 13 1
Marrubium vulgare L. Common Horehound 2 1 0 0
Matricaria discoidea DC. False Chamomile 0 0 23 1
Matricaria recutita L. Chamomile 82 8 83 6
Mauranthemum paludosum (Poir.) Vogt et Oberpr. 2 1 0 0
Medicago lupulina L. Black Medick 0 0 3 1
Melissa officinalis L. Lemon Balm 5 3 11 5
Mentha L. sp. Mint 10 3 5 1
Mentha longifolia (L.) L. Horse Mint 1 1 0 0
Mentha spicata L. Spearmint 0 0 1 1
Mentha suaveolens Ehrh. Apple Mint 3 2 46 4
Mentha xpiperita L. Peppermint 6 2 14 4
Mirabilis jalapa L. Four O'Clock Plant 5 1 0 0
Monarda L. Cultivars Beebalm 3 1 3 3
Myosotis L. sp. Forget-me-not 6 3 1 1
Nepeta cataria L. Cat Mint 5 4 7 5
Ocimum basilicum L. Basil 0 0 33 5
Origanum majorana L. Sweet Marjoram 11 4 7 5
Origanum vulgare L. Oregano 3 1 9 5
Osteospermum L. Cultivars African Daisy 0 0 9 1
Paeonia lactiflora Pall. Cultivars Common Garden Peony 34 11 27 8
Paeonia officinalis L. Common Peony 16 8 3 3
Papaver nudicaule L. Iceland Poppy 2 1 9 1
Papaver orientale L. Oriental Poppy 1 1 3 2
Papaver somniferum L. ssp. setigerum (DC.) Corb. Poppy 0 0 2 1
Papaver somniferum L. ssp. somniferum Opium Poppy 1 1 0 0
Persicaria lapathifolia (L.) Delarbre Pale Persicaria 0 0 1 1
Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss Parsley 44 12 496 11
Phaseolus vulgaris L. var. nanus (L.) G. Martens Dwarf Bean 457 7 460 6
Phaseolus vulgaris L. var. vulgaris French Bean 20 1 38 3
Philadelphus L. Cultivars Mock Orange 1 1 1 1
Phlox paniculata L. Garden Phlox 20 7 45 10
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Table 2 List of plant taxa identified in n= 16 FHGs in 1998 and 2013 (Continued)
Scientific name Englisch name Abundance98 Occurrence98 Abundance13 Occurrence13
Phlox subulata L. Moss Phlox 7 2 0 0
Physalis alkekengi L. Chinese Lantern Plant 5 1 0 0
Physostegia virginiana (L.) Benth. Obedient Plant 6 2 1 1
Pinus cembra L. Arolla Pine 2 1 2 1
Pisum sativum L. ssp. sativum Garden Pea 746 7 65 2
Plantago lanceolata L. English Plantain 1 1 9 1
Plantago major L. Common Plantain 0 0 25 1
Polemonium L. Cultivars Jacob's Ladder 0 0 1 1
Potentilla fruticosa L. 1 1 0 0
Prunus armeniaca L. Apricot 0 0 1 1
Prunus avium (L.) L. Gean 0 0 2 2
Prunus domestica L. Plum 1 1 8 1
Prunus triloba Lindl. Flowering Almond 0 0 1 1
Psyllium Mill. sp. Plantain 3 1 0 0
Pulmonaria officinalis L. Lungwort 0 0 1 1
Pyrus communis L. Common Pear 1 1 1 1
Raphanus sativus L. var. niger (Mill.) J.Kern. Oriental Radish 30 1 0 0
Raphanus sativus L. var. sativus Small Radish 310 9 231 7
Rheum rhabarbarum L. Garden Rhubarb 10 7 5 5
Ribes nigrum L. Blackcurrant 6 2 28 6
Ribes rubrum L. Red Currant; White
Currant
29 4 45 8
Ribes uva-crispa L. Gooseberry 0 0 3 2
Ribes xnidigrolaria Rud. Bauer et A. Bauer 1 1 9 1
Rosa L. Cultivars Rose 20 10 21 9
Rosa L. sp. Rose 0 0 2 2
Rosa xalba L. White Rose 1 1 0 0
Rosa xcentifolia L. Rose 4 3 3 2
Rosmarinus officinalis L. Rosemary 1 1 6 5
Rubus idaeus L. Raspberry 9 5 42 5
Rubus L. sect. Rubus 0011
Rudbeckia hirta L. Black-Eyed Susan 0 0 50 1
Rudbeckia laciniata L. Cutleaf Coneflower 1 1 0 0
Rumex obtusifolius L. Bitter Dock 0 0 8 1
Ruta graveolens L. Rue 0 0 2 2
Sagina subulata (Sm.) C. Presl Pearlwort 5 1 0 0
Salvia officinalis L. Common Sage 6 6 8 8
Sambucus nigra L. Common Elder 0 0 1 1
Sanguisorba minor Scop. Small Burnet 2 1 0 0
Santolina chamaecyparissus L. Lavender Cotton 0 0 1 1
Satureja hortensis L. Summer Savory 10 1 2 2
Satureja montana L. Winter Savory 1 1 1 1
Saxifraga L. Cultivars Saxifrage 4 2 0 0
Scorzonera hispanica L. Black Salsify 8 1 0 0
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Table 2 List of plant taxa identified in n= 16 FHGs in 1998 and 2013 (Continued)
Scientific name Englisch name Abundance98 Occurrence98 Abundance13 Occurrence13
Sedum acre L. Wall Pepper 0 0 1 1
Sedum cauticola Praeger Stonecrop 2 1 0 0
Sedum hispanicum L. Stonecrop 9 3 0 0
Sedum L. sp. Stonecrop 0 0 1 1
Sedum spurium M. Bieb Two Row Stonecrop 3 2 4 2
Sedum telephium L. Stonecrop 3 2 2 2
Silene chalcedonica (L.) E.H.L. Krause Maltese Cross 0 0 1 1
Silene coronaria (L.) Clairv. Crown Pink 0 0 1 1
Silene latifolia Poir. White Campion 5 1 0 0
Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. Our Lady's Thistle 0 0 1 1
Solanum tuberosum L. Potato 590 4 220 5
Solidago canadensis L. Canada Goldenrod 3 2 5 1
Sorbus aucuparia L. Mountain Ash 1 1 1 1
Spinacia oleracea L. Spinach 16 3 38 2
Spiraea japonica L. Japanese Meadowsweet 1 1 3 2
Spiraea L. sp Bridewort 1 1 1 1
Stellaria media (L.) Vill. Common Chickweed 0 0 60 1
Symphoricarpos albus (L.) S.F. Blake Snowberry 4 2 5 2
Symphytum asperum Lepech. Rough Comfrey 0 0 1 1
Symphytum officinale L. Common Comfrey 2 1 13 6
Syringa vulgaris L. Common Lilac 6 2 4 3
Tagetes L. sp. Marigold 94 5 13 4
Tanacetum coccineum (Willd.) Grierson Painted Daisy 2 2 0 0
Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Sch. Bip. Feverfew 1 1 4 3
Tanacetum vulgare L. Tansy 1 1 2 2
Taraxacum sect. Ruderalia Kirschner Dandelion 0 0 20 1
Thuja occidentalis L. Red Cedar 0 0 4 2
Thymus pulegioides L. Thyme 0 0 3 2
Thymus vulgaris L. Common Thyme 4 2 3 3
Thymus xcitriodorus (Pers.) Schreb. Lemon Thyme 1 1 1 1
Tilia cordata Mill. Little Leaf Linden 1 1 0 0
Tilia platyphyllos Scop. Large Leaved Lime 1 1 0 0
Tradescantia xandersoniana W. Ludw. et Rohweder White Spiderwort 1 1 0 0
Trifolium pratense L. Red Clover 0 0 30 1
Trigonella caerulea (L.) Ser. Fenugreek 21 2 3 3
Tropaeolum majus L. Nasturtium 41 5 28 3
Tussilago farfara L. Coltsfoot 0 0 5 1
Urtica dioica L. Stinging Nettle 10 1 43 4
Vaccinium corymbosum L. High Bush Blueberry 4 1 4 2
Valeriana officinalis L. Common Valerian 3 2 1 1
Valerianella locusta (L.) Laterr. Cornsalad 9 1 21 1
Verbascum densiflorum Bertol. Large-flowered Mullein 0 0 6 3
Verbascum olympicum Boiss. Olympic Mullein 2 1 0 0
Verbena officinalis L. Turkey Grass 2 1 0 0
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plant taxa used as food (p
ttest
= 0.009, significant) and
the food subcategory spice (p
ttest
= 0.056, tendency)
(Table 1).
Abundance (frequency of individuals)
The abundance of all FHGS was 11,068 individuals in
1998 and 7794 individuals in 2013. The mean abundance
of individuals for all plant taxa showed a significant de-
crease for the mean of individual plants per garden be-
tween the years (1998, 691; 2013, 487; p
ttest paired
: 0.027)
(Table 1). In 2013, an increase in variability (e.g. expressed
in the standard deviation; Table 1) compared to 1998
could be seen, i.e. FHGs with a higher maximum and
FHGs with a lower minimum number of individuals per
FHG could to be observed compared to 1998 (Fig. 5).
The two FHGs with the greatest abundance in 2013
could be characterised as gardens, with gardeners
using spontaneously growing plant taxa (FHG_1015;
e.g. ground elder; Aegopodium podagraria L., 100
individuals or Glechoma hederacea L., 40 individuals),
or growing spice plant taxa with a high abundance
(FHG_1013; e.g. Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss,
240 individuals).
Therewerenosignificantdifferencesinrelativeabun-
dance between the years (p
ttest paired
= 1.000), with FHGs
holding between 1% (FHG_1001) and 15% (FHG_1015) of
the total abundance in 2013. FHG abundance showed no
difference between the years (p
ttest paired
= 0.700). FHGs
had between three and 19 plant individuals per m
2
(Table 1).
A significant correlation between FHG size and abun-
dance could be observed for 1998 (p
PEARSON
= 0.016;
correlation coefficient 0.591) and 2013 (p
PEARSON
=
0.006; correlation coefficient = 0.653) (Fig. 6).
The variation in the different use categories expressed in
abundance between the years was not significantly different,
except for the decrease in the abundance of plant taxa used
as food (p
ttest paired
= 0.047). In spite of the significant de-
crease in the abundance of food on average, for certain
plant taxa their abundance increased (Table 1), e.g. the
abundance of Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss.
Most recent changes in spatial configuration in 2017
Between 2013 and 2017 three FHGs showed very recent
changes in their spatial configuration, while 13 remained
as observed in 2013 (Fig. 7).
The traditional spatial configuration of FHG_1009
and FHG_1020 changed between 2013 and 2017 by
(i) converting 50% of the garden into grassland or
(ii) replacing the FHG with one raised bed. Horticul-
tural activities could clearly be observed.
Already in 2013 in FHG_1003 50% of the area
under cultivation had been converted into lawn. In
2017, only some perennial shrubs and flowering
plants served as a reminder of the FHG. Between
2013 and 2017 the area had been fully converted into
Table 2 List of plant taxa identified in n= 16 FHGs in 1998 and 2013 (Continued)
Scientific name Englisch name Abundance98 Occurrence98 Abundance13 Occurrence13
Viburnum lantana L. Wayfaring Tree 0 0 1 1
Viburnum opulus L. European Cranberrybush 0 0 2 2
Vicia faba L. Broad Bean 150 1 0 0
Vicia sepium L. Bush Vetch 0 0 5 1
Vinca minor L. Smaller Periwinkle 0 0 10 5
Viola arvensis Murray European Field Pansy 0 0 1 1
Viola xwittrockiana Gams ex Kappert Garden Pansy 24 4 15 2
Vitis vinifera L. ssp. vinifera Common Grape Vine 0 0 5 2
Weigelia Thunb. Cultivars Weigela 0 0 1 1
Xerochrysum bracteatum (Vent.) Tzvelev Straw Daisy 20 2 5 2
Zinnia elegans Jacq. Youh-and-Old-Age 87 4 8 2
Fig. 2 Presence of plant taxa (occurrence) for n= 16 in 1998 and the
same n= 16 in 2013, shown as a box plot
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Table 3 Plant taxa found in > 50% of the studied home gardens in at least one of the study years of 1998 or 2013 (n= 16 each year).
Grey: > 50% in both years
Plant taxa: Scientific name English name Frequency of FHGs (n= 16)
1998 2013
Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis L. Cauliflower 8 3
Dicentra Borkh. ex Bernh. Cultivars Bleeding heart 8 3
Paeonia officinalis L. Common peony 8 3
Apium graveolens L. var. rapaceum (Mill.) Gaudin Turnip-rooted celery 8 6
Matricaria recutita L. Chamomile 8 6
Brassica oleracea L. var. gongylodes L. Turnip kale 8 10
Fragaria x ananassa (Duchesne) Guédès Garden strawberry 8 10
Dianthus barbatus L. Sweet william 9 5
Raphanus sativus L. var. sativus Small radish 9 7
Daucus carota L. ssp. sativus (Hoffm.)Schübl. et G.
Martens
Carrot 9 10
Allium porrum L. var. porrum Leek 9 11
Levisticum officinale W.D.J. Koch Lovage 9 11
Rosa L. Cultivars Rose 10 9
Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata (L.) Alef. Cabbage 11 7
Allium cepa L. Cepa Grp. Onion 11 8
Paeonia lactiflora Pall. Cultivars Common garden peony 11 8
Beta vulgaris L. ssp. vulgaris var. vulgaris Beetroot 12 7
Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss Parsley 12 11
Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata L. Cabbage lettuce 16 14
Allium schoenoprasum L. var. schoenoprasum Chives 16 16
Cucurbita pepo L. Courgette 4 8
Ribes rubrum L. Red/whitecurrant 4 8
Salvia officinalis L. Common sage 6 8
Lactuca sativa L. var. crispa L. Leaf lettuce 6 9
Phlox paniculata L. Garden phlox 7 10
Fig. 3 FHG-specific diversity (occurrence/m
2
) for n= 16 in 1998 and
the same n= 16 in 2013, shown as a box plot with median
Fig. 4 Scatter plot for garden size and occurrence for n= 16 in 1998
and the same n= 16 in 2013
Vogl-Lukasser and Vogl Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (2018) 14:63 Page 15 of 20
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
pastureland. Two sides of the all-surrounding fence
had been removed and no horticultural activity could
be observed.
Discussion
Between 1998 and 2013, incipient change was appar-
ent in the spatial configuration of the 16 studied
FHGs in Sillian, with this continuing trend also visible
in 2017.
While the boundaries of the FHG plots were accur-
ately defined until 1998 and contributed to a homoge-
neous picture of these environments [18], some FHGs
had now expanded into other functional structures of
the homestead (e.g. orchards or grassland), including
recreational areas and lawn with more open boundaries
(semi-fenced or not fenced) or new structural elements
(e.g. raised beds). A common attribute of tropical home
gardens is the diversity in the spatial configurations of
cultivated spaces [24,4447] and the gradual transition
of home gardens to surrounding areas [48], contributing
to the heterogeneity of these agroecosystems and making
the definition of boundaries unfeasible [44]. Indetermin-
ate boundaries, which make the measurement of size
subjective and inaccurate, e.g. in Benin [44], were not
observed in 1998, but were observed in 2013 and 2017.
For temperate FHGs, we have not found scientific evi-
dence discussing fences or boundaries. We hypothesise
that presence/absence of fences might be an indicator of
change for the FHGs studied.
The decrease in the cultivated area of FHGs in Sillian
may be linked to challenges in the management of the
FHGs, as indicated by the gardeners. Strategies for
avoiding high labour demand included reducing the size
of the FHG and growing plant taxa such as redcurrant
that require less time-consuming maintenance and cover
more space per individual, maintaining or even expand-
ing the garden size. Therefore raised beds also appeared
to be a strategy applied by the gardeners, as they de-
mand less labour and are easier to manage, especially by
the older generation.
It can be argued that management factors, e.g. time to
invest in gardening, should be more strongly considered
as predictors of structural conversion or abandonment.
Furthermore, other household features have to be taken
into account in future evaluations, e.g. whether
better-off households (defined by wealth in land and kin-
ship affiliation [19]) have more time to invest in garden-
ing and therefore tend to have greater agrobiodiversity,
as observed in Peru for example [19].
Although some gardening activities in East Tyrolean
FHGs in 1998 were shared between different household
members (e.g. digging by men), women were mainly re-
sponsible for gardening (100% in 1998 in Sillian FHGs),
which was also reported for the 1960s [13]. This differs
from research into FHGs on the Iberian Peninsula, for
example, which suggests that men have main responsi-
bility for gardening activities in 52% of the households
or that it is shared by family members in 21% of the
households [42]. In 2013 in Sillian FHGs, the first steps
towards gardening being shared more between family
members or becoming a mans domain might indicate a
transition in the cultural roles expected of household
members in the management of FHGs.
The incipient change in spatial configuration and the
heterogeneous nature of FHGs may be seen as an ongoing
expression of individualisation. It can be argued that
farmershome gardening might be undergoing a process
of reconsideration of culturally-rooted forms of home gar-
dening. In future home gardens, seen as a marker of
Fig. 6 Scatter plot (including correlation) for abundance and size of
garden for 1998 and 2013 (n= 16).
Fig. 5 Abundance (frequency of individuals of plant taxa) per FHG
for n= 16 in 1998 and the same n= 16 in 2013, shown as a box plot
with median
Vogl-Lukasser and Vogl Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (2018) 14:63 Page 16 of 20
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
cultural identity in other regions in Europe [49], may be-
come more differentiated, in line with farmerspercep-
tions of what a FHG means for them individually.
No difference was observed between the mean occur-
rences of plant taxa between the years 1998 and 2013.
Nevertheless, in 2013, the gardeners had increased the
absolute number of all plant taxa in all 16 FHGs and
FHG-specific diversity (occ./m
2
) had increased. In nei-
ther of the periods surveyed was diversity related to the
size of the garden, as observed in tropical home gardens
for example [19,31], but unlike home gardens in Nepal
[50], where size and species richness were positively cor-
related, or Vietnam [51] where smaller FHGs showed
greater diversity. While households with an interest in
plant taxa tend to have more diverse gardens, e.g. in
Peru [19], in Sillian, more diverse gardens were not
clearly related to the enthusiasm for gardening. One of
the highly diverse gardens in the village was abandoned
in 2017.
Trends in home garden dynamics in other regions are
showing a gradual decrease in diversity and structural
simplification as a result of intensification of crop pro-
duction [24,52]. FHGs are therefore described as being
under threat of conversion to mono-cropping land use
systems [28,53].
FHGs in Sillian face a different kind of threat, i.e. a
continuous process of decline in the cultivated area, rad-
ical structural change (e.g. conversion of the FHG to one
raised bed, as observed in one FHG in 2017) or the
complete abandonment of the horticulturally managed
system and conversion to another land-use system such
as pasture (observed in one FHG in 2017). In FHGs in
Germany, Schulmeyer-Torres [22] identifies the 1990s as
a period in which structural changes to a high propor-
tion of lawn and coniferous plant taxa might have taken
place. Such a change can be confirmed for 2013 onwards
in Sillian.
The flora in the studied gardens was highly variable in
both 1998 and 2013, suggesting the heterogeneous na-
ture of FHGs, also observed by [53] and indicated by
[19] as substantial differences in garden composition
and plant diversity between households. Although no
significant difference in the number of occurrence of
plant taxa (per garden) between the years was observed,
an increase in the variability of the occurrence of plant
taxa, an increase in the absolute number of plant taxa
that entered the FHGs than left them, and fewer plant
taxa that contributed to the similarity in 2013 showed
that the differences between FHGs increased over the
years. This increase in variability might be understood as
a flora-specific indicator of individualisation of the com-
position of the FHGs based on the gardenersdiffering
preferences.
The multifunctional characteristics of FHGs found in
Eastern Tyrol in 1998 could also be confirmed for 2013,
similar to tropical home gardens [3]. In comparison, e.g.
Fig. 7 Changes observed in FHGs in Sillian (Eastern Tyrol). Yellow box: changes between the 1960s and 1998 as published; red box: changes as
presented in this paper 1998 > 2013 (= situation maintained; increased; decreased; increased/decreased/similar depending on use category);
black or blue figures in grey boxes indicate frequency of FHGs for the respective categoryonly related to changes in spatial configuration; n=16
Vogl-Lukasser and Vogl Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (2018) 14:63 Page 17 of 20
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
on the Iberian Peninsula, a specialised role of home gar-
dens for food production with a low frequency of noned-
ible taxa was found [54].
The main function of the historic FHGs until the
1960s was to provide the household with edible plant
taxa for use as seasoning, besides their medicinal func-
tion, with both functions continuing to be important in
1998. In 2013, human medicinal uses continued to play
a steady role, whereas food uses showed an increase of
occurrence of plant taxa for 2013 and a decrease in the
abundance of individuals cultivated.
These findings may be interpreted as showing that
it is not large quantities (abundance) that are import-
ant, but the taste and health of garden products of
specific taxa (occurrence) for the diet of the gar-
deners. This is also obvious in the increase of the oc-
currence of plant taxa used as spices (spice being a
subcategory of food).
In several studies, spices are not just valued as season-
ing, but seen as plants with medicinal and/or therapeutic
potential [55] and are therefore the subject of experi-
mental research on their health benefits, based on the
knowledge of the chemistry and pharmacology of their
active principles [56]. Viewing food use as nutritional
or medicinal is often only a matter of definition and
thus difficult to assess [57].Sincehalfofthefood
plants in Northern Spain [15] or 60% in Lucca, Italy
[58] for example have medicinal uses, there are differ-
ing degrees of correlations along the food-medicine
continuum [57]. The emic perception of this con-
tinuum might be of interest for further evaluation in
East Tyrolean FHGs.
The use of plant taxa for healthy food and medicinal
purposes was consistent with the respondents who
called themselves keengardeners making manage-
ment decisions linked to use categories. The knowledge
associated with healthyplantsgrowninFHGsinSil-
lian might be of conservation significance, as stated by
Huai et al. [59]. A prime requirement for success in
conservation is the presence of local people who are
knowledgably about their local natural world, e.g. medi-
cinal plants. A link between use categories and agrobio-
diversity maintenancethemorefunctionsthereare,
the better it is for agrobiodiversity, as observed else-
where [19,60,61]might also be true for FHGs in Sil-
lian, which still show high plant diversity and
multifunctional characteristics.
Finally, the exchange of seeds and planting material is
recognised as an important determinant of diversity,
with implications especially for in situ conservation of
varietal diversity [19]. In 1998, interviews still recorded
the regional sources for seeds and planting material [20].
This regional economy might be affected by the in-
creased expression of individualisation in the garden
system of the 16 Sillian FHGs, particularly in a system
where markets for seeds and planting material are omni-
present. Access to and the origin and dynamic of garden
planting material were not investigated in 2013. This
issue merits closer attention in studies of agrobiodiver-
sity [19,50] and should be taken into account in future
research. Future studies should include the importance
of assessing diversity through more extensive sampling
and giving more extensive consideration to the under-
lying socioecological and sociocultural drivers that lead
to the fragmentation, conversion or abandonment of
FHGs.
Conclusions
Thediachronicperspectiveofthisstudyprovidesafirst
understanding of the ongoing conversion underway in
FHGs at different points in time (1998, 2013, 2017 of
the same 16 FHGs), including changes in the 1960s for
FHGs in the study area. In Sillian, FHGs are by no way
distinct or static agroecological units, but are dynamic
in their appearance, composition and function. FHGs in
Sillian show a trend towards becoming more individual,
i.e. conversion from being a product of a homogenous
local cultural script of the community into an area
where gardeners define more individually the role that
FHGs are expected to play for them or their family. As
an FHG may no longer consist of a single fenced plot,
but instead cover various locations or growing sites, a
careful redefinition should be made of the system
boundary comprised by a FHGin Eastern Tyrol. This
observation might also be of relevance in the design of
furtherstudiesinotherregions.
Abbreviations
FHG: Farmers homegarden; FHGs: Farmershomegardens
Acknowledgements
We are grateful to all the interviewees in Tyrol for sharing their knowledge
with us in 1998 and 2013. We acknowledge the support of Katrin Pliger who
collected the data for 2013 and also helpful comments from Christoph
Schunko and Claire Tarring on a previous version of this manuscript.
Funding
The fieldwork described in this paper received the following funding:
In 1998: research was made possible due to funds from the Federal
Ministry of Education, Science and Culture; Federal Ministry of
Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management;
Government of Tyrol: Project number L 1044/96)
In 2013 no external funding was received. Data were collected within
a masters thesis project
In 2017: revisiting home gardens was funded by Sparkling Science
(Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy & Austrian
Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research):
Project Homegrown Theres nothing like a home garden! Agrar-Bio-
Diversität in bäuerlichen Hausgärten Osttirols. Project number SPA
06/130.
Availability of data and materials
Data without participant data can be obtained upon reasonable request
from the corresponding author.
Vogl-Lukasser and Vogl Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (2018) 14:63 Page 18 of 20
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
Authorscontributions
BVL undertook the research in 1998 with the support of technical staff for data
collection, in 2013. BVL undertook the research with the masters student Katrin
Pliger, who collected the data, and in 2017, BVL performed the research on her
own, accompanied by Heidemarie Pirker and CRV. BVL and CRV designed the
research for 1998, 2013 and 2017, performed the analysis and drafted the
manuscript jointly. The two authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
Prior informed consent was obtained from all the informants. Under Austrian
law and under our university procedures, no specific additional procedure is
requested for this kind of study.
Consent for publication
This manuscript does not contain any data on an individual person and
further consent for publication is not required.
Competing interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
PublishersNote
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in
published maps and institutional affiliations.
Received: 14 May 2018 Accepted: 3 October 2018
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Vogl-Lukasser and Vogl Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (2018) 14:63 Page 20 of 20
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... Both P. rhoeas and C. cyanus have been cultivated since the 16th century through-182 out Central Europe as garden plants [201,202], which may partly be motivated by a high 183 demand for wreaths [201]. The cornflower was a beloved species in the home gardens of 184 Austria, where it seems to have maintained its high popularity until relatively recently 185 [203]. The diverse horticultural varieties of D. consolida have also been common in many 186 gardens of Central Europe [204]. ...
... Both P. rhoeas and C. cyanus have been cultivated since the 16th century throughout Central Europe as garden plants [201,202], which may partly be motivated by a high demand for wreaths [201]. The cornflower was a beloved species in the home gardens of Austria, where it seems to have maintained its high popularity until relatively recently [203]. The diverse horticultural varieties of D. consolida have also been common in many gardens of Central Europe [204]. ...
... landlord was symbolically tied up with a rope made of the first ears that were decorated 203 with arable wildflowers [99,104] (Figure 5b). The first ears were often regarded to have 204 magical powers, carrying God's blessings, which would ensure an abundant yield for the 205 next year [97]. ...
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There are an increasing number of initiatives that recognize arable weed species as an important component of agricultural biodiversity. Such initiatives often focus on declining species that were once abundant and are still well known, but the ethnographic relevance of such species receives little recognition. We carried out an extensive literature review on the medicinal, ornamental, and cultural applications of three selected species, Papaver rhoeas, Centaurea cyanus, and Delphinium consolida, in the relevant Hungarian literature published between 1578 and 2021. We found a great diversity of medicinal usages. While P. rhoeas stands out with its sedative influence, D. consolida was mainly employed to stop bleeding, and C. cyanus was most frequently used to cure eye inflammation. The buds of P. rhoeas were sporadically eaten and its petals were used as a food dye. All species fulfilled ornamental purposes, either as garden plants or gathered in the wild for bouquets. They were essential elements of harvest festivals and religious festivities, particularly in Corpus Christi processions. P. rhoeas was also a part of several children’s games. These wildflowers were regularly depicted in traditional Hungarian folk art. In poetry, P. rhoeas was used as a symbol of burning love or impermanence; C. cyanus was frequently associated with tenderness and faithfulness; while D. consolida regularly emerged as a nostalgic remembrance of the disappearing rural lifestyle. These plants were also used as patriotic symbols in illustrations for faithfulness, loyalty, or homesickness. Our results highlight the deep and prevalent embeddedness of the three iconic weed species studied in the folk culture of the Carpathian Basin. The ethnobotanical and cultural embeddedness of arable weed species should also be considered when efforts and instruments for the conservation of arable weed communities are designed.
... Private gardens in the tropical zones have been more frequently discussed in their current relation to self-provisioning, presenting an important part of the livelihoods of economically struggling communities [8][9][10][11][12]. A broad variety of plants used as food are reported in a number of studies dedicated to the past and present of the cultivation of edible species in European home gardens [13][14][15][16][17]. However, being largely supplanted by the globalized agri-food industry, temperate and especially European home gardens and their owners have drawn less attention [5,16]. ...
... A broad variety of plants used as food are reported in a number of studies dedicated to the past and present of the cultivation of edible species in European home gardens [13][14][15][16][17]. However, being largely supplanted by the globalized agri-food industry, temperate and especially European home gardens and their owners have drawn less attention [5,16]. Since the beginning of the new Millennium, European home gardens have presented a colorful spectrum in East-West direction. ...
... The cultivation practices applied by our respondents were labor-and resource-intensive, thus presenting Bulgarian rural home gardens as relatively large, high-maintenance spaces, contrary to the approaches favored by garden owners in the Austrian Alps, who sought to reduce additional labor input when expanding their gardens [16]. Those and also many home gardens around the world were reported to depend less on inputs in mechanization and industrial agrochemical products, thus enhancing their role as sustainable sources of healthy food [8]. ...
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The home garden is a unique human-nature interspace that accommodates a diverse spectrum of plant species and provides multiple services to households. One of the most important roles of home gardens is to shelter the agricultural plant diversity that provides for diverse and healthy nutrition, especially in rural communities. While tropical home gardens have received wide recognition due to their provisional function for the local communities, temperate and especially European home gardens have been discussed less frequently as a source of subsistence. The main objectives of the current study were to document plant species grown in Bulgarian rural home gardens and to explore related local knowledge and cultural practices that influence food plant diversity, its selection and preservation. Field work was focused on settlements situated in eight provinces in South and North-West Bulgaria. Participants representing 65 home gardens were approached through semi-structured interviews. Home gardens were found to harbor 145 cultivated and semi-cultivated plant taxa, used as food, medicinal and aromatic plants and as animal fodder. Members of the Rosaceae family were most numerous. The largest part of the garden area was occupied by vegetable crops of Solanaceae and Cucurbitaceae. In 63.1% of the studied households, the food growing area comprised more than 2/3 of the total size of the garden. Most preferred crops reflected the social and cultural importance of food self-provisioning, especially in the rural areas. The provisional role of the home gardens in regard to preparation of traditional foods and the driving forces for seed saving are discussed.
... Homegardens in tropical regions -also known under synonyms like household, homestead, backyard or house gardens (Kumar & Nair, 2004) -are defined as multistory microenvironments characterized by a specific structure of several strata that often include trees, shrubs, annual and perennial plant species which are cultivated around the gardener's homestead (Eyzaguirre & Linares, 2004;Kumar & Nair, 2004). In contrast, in temperate regions homegardens do not necessarily have to include trees by definition but are generally described as small cultivation spaces close to the farmers' household, where annual, biennial and perennial cultivated plants are grown (Vogl-Lukasser & Vogl, 2018). The horticultural area of homegardens is most commonly used for cultivation of vegetable, fruit and herb species that are devoted for household use (Kumar & Nair, 2004) with the result of generating "secondary direct or indirect income" (Niñez, 1984). ...
... All of the homegardens belong to farms (either organic or non-organic) and are managed by the women farmers. The interviewed women farmers are herein referred to gardeners and the term homegardens is defined as "small, manually operated horticultural cultivation spaces adjacent to the farmers' households, in which annual, biennial and perennial cultivated plants are grown", following the definition by Vogl-Lukasser & Vogl (2018). The 17 homegardens were chosen following a targeted sampling strategy (Newing, 2011). ...
... Accessibility to medicinal plants can be provided through self-cultivation in homegardens (Eyzaguirre & Linares, 2004;Galluzzi et al., 2010). Homegardens are "small, manually operated horticultural cultivation spaces adjacent to the farmers' households, in which annual, biennial and perennial cultivated plants are grown" (Vogl-Lukasser & Vogl, 2018). They often comprise a variety of plant species that are used to fulfill various family needs such as food and medical care (Eyzaguirre & Linares, 2004;Galluzzi et al., 2010;B. ...
Thesis
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Homegardens are horticultural cultivation spaces where annual, biennial and perennial cultivated plants are grown and used to fulfill various family needs such as food and medical care. In the year 1998 Vogl & Vogl-Lukasser (2003) investigated plant species composition and use in 196 homegardens of Eastern Tyrol, Austria. This thesis aims to study gardeners’ use of medicinal plants and to compare results from the years 1998 and 2018. In spring and summer 2018 occurrence and abundance of cultivated plant taxa were surveyed in 62 homegardens of 14 organic and 48 non-organic farms in 11 communities of Eastern Tyrol. Interviews about the person, household and plant use were carried out with gardeners. In 17 homegardens additional interviews were carried out inquiring in-depth the use of medicinal plants. Number of medicinal plant taxa used per gardener did not significantly differ between the years 1998 and 2018. In both years Calendula officinalis L., Salvia L. sp. and Matricaria recutita L. were the most popular medicinal plants and the families Lamiaceae and Asteraceae most often represented. In the year 1998 there was a positive correlation between gardener age and number of medicinal plant taxa used, but none in the year 2018. Neither in 1998 nor 2018 number of medicinal plant taxa used differed between gardeners of homegardens on organic and non-organic farms. Results of the subsample in the year 2018 found herbal tea as most common preparation method. Ailments within the categories Respiratory System Disorders (20.8 %), Inflammations (18.1 %) and Injuries (15.3 %) were most commonly treated in humans. In animals mostly ailments within the categories Injuries (32.3 %), Inflammations (22.6 %) and Digestive System Disorders (16.1 %) were treated. Homegardens are important reservoirs of medicinal plants providing easy and immediate access. This study and similar research about the use of medicinal plants can be instrumental to make ethnomedicinal knowledge visible.
... Such structures are known as a characteristic structure of home garden, including front garden-an area accompanying the function of presenting the house and possessions [33]. The list of characteristic ornamental plants and crops resulting from the specificity of the peculiar image of VFG use have been also provided [34,35]. ...
... However, decorative plants are common in VFG, the assumption about particular emblematic plants used in Polish gardens [35,65] and advanced composition is not confirmed. At the same time, we observed "new emblematic" plants, repeated in several plots, constituting more than 30% of them. ...
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At the time of reflection on green justice, when the role of public green spaces is increasing, it is worth paying attention to vernacular greenery, especially in single-family residential areas on city outskirts which property owners arrange in front parts of plots. The paper’s aim is to show that vernacular front gardens (VFG) can act as missing public space and at the same time have the attributes of public green space, providing ecosystem services (ES). In order to confirm these assumptions, we carried out a VFG’s attributes inventory and a survey on garden designers. We identified dominating garden features and conducted a cluster analysis of the gardens based on their characteristics. The basis for building periurban streetscape in single-family housing estates is the visual inclusiveness of VFGs. They provide all the ES groups, playing representational, natural and recreational roles as well as serving as locations of edible plants production. Streets in residential sites, thanks to VFG, can be treated as real green public spaces creating a type of green area accessible not only to owners but also to pedestrian eyes. We conclude that our results can be valuable for city planning but also for the professional garden designers.
... Taken together, home gardens contribute to the conservation of useful plants and the ethnobotanical knowledge formed around them. This is true even when the region experiences economic growth and no longer critically depends on the plant products (Poot-Pool et al. 2015;Vogl-Lukasser and Vogl 2018). However, Jeju home gardens had some limitations to conserving the wide array of the native plants, along with associated traditional knowledge. ...
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Home gardens are often the most agrobiodiverse sites in the anthropogenic environment, a space where crops and other useful plants are often transplanted from other components of the landscape. This study investigates the plant composition of home gardens and their usefulness in 12 small towns and villages—with three of these chosen as the focus for in-depth research—situated in the Jeju province of South Korea. The goal of the research is to explore their roles in local ethnobotany in the context of habitat conversion and land use change. The 131 home gardens surveyed in these villages yielded 164 species- and variety-level plant taxa (52 wild, 109 domesticated, and 3 introduced), of which 95 were useful plant taxa (39 wild, 55 domesticated, and 1 introduced). Use of home garden plants was predominantly for food and medicinal purposes. Home garden plant usefulness was more multi-functional and thus more versatile than practices associated with these plants in non-garden habitats. Plant diversity in home gardens was supported by the presence of nearby forest and grassland areas. Interview data indicate that plant users were motivated to transplant wild plants into their home gardens in order to secure a consistent supply, given decreases in wild plant populations in the last 15–20 years. The loss and overharvesting of forests and other wild plant habitats have caused the decrease in these plant populations. Underlying drivers of the habitat conversion and land use change influencing increased wild plant transplants to home gardens are local livelihood and lifestyle changes, including the earlier expansion of commercial agriculture beginning in the late 1960s and the accelerated growth of tourism since 2000.
... The overall number of Lamiaceae family members (22) found cultivated in Bulgarian rural home gardens was similar to that reported for other European home gardens, however, none of the taxa mentioned in these studies were present even in half of the studied gardens [46,56]. In the current study, two species, namely M. spicata and S. hortensis, were almost compulsorily present in the home hardens, grown in 98% and 74% of the studied gardens, respectively. ...
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Lamiaceae comprises widely distributed medicinal and aromatic plants, many of which are traditionally used in European countries. The current study aimed to document Lamiaceae taxa used in rural Bulgaria (Southeast Europe) and to explore the related local knowledge and cultural practices that influence their utilization for various purposes. Field work included inventory of Lamiaceae diversity in home gardens and semi-structured interviews focused on the cultivation, collection, and utilization practices common among elderly inhabitants of 34 settlements in rural Bulgaria. We report the utilization of 27 Lamiaceae taxa, 9 of which were collected from the wild. Traditional and contemporary ways of utilizing Lamiaceae taxa as culinary and medicinal plants, in herbal teas, as repellents, ritual plants, etc., are presented. Recent knowledge on medicinal properties contributed to the introduction of new taxa in gardens (wild and cultivated), while traditional culinary practices were found to sustain the diversity of local forms (landraces).
... Many authors have already expressed their concern about the future of this traditional practice. To be specific, questions are already raised whether the shift from subsistence to market-oriented agriculture, rural migration either in pursuit of education or labour, land pressure due to urbanization, lack of interest of the new generations to care the traditional farming systems due to the rapid changes in the pattern of food, environmental and livelihood conditions etc. are threatening the very existence of HGs, particularly at the local scale (Kumar and Nair, 2006;Boege, 2008;Mohri et al., 2013;Vogl-Lukasser and Vogl, 2018). ...
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Background. Considering the current importance of recognizing the potential of traditional agroecosystems, including homegardens in the sustainable development of many rural and urban communities, strategists and scientists around the world are showing increasing interest in their study. Objective. Analyze the scientific literature relevant to the scope and constraints of homegardens (HGs), and to identify gaps and research perspectives, especially for indigenous communities in Mexico. Methodology. A total of 335 studies published in the last decades (1986-2020) were collected from different databases using predefined keywords. All publications were organized and stored in the Zotero (2018) program. The trends of all the publications were analyzed using NVivo 12 Plus software. Results. The number of publications increased from the year 2000. About 70% of the publications analyzed were research articles in english. Of the total studies examined 239 (71.35%) were conducted in different parts of the world, of which 30% from Asia and the remaining 96 (28.65%) from Mexico, primarily in tropics. Most of these studies focused on ecological (62.98%), economic (20.29%), cultural (13.43%), social (7.46%) and multifunctional features (12.23%) of HGs. The same pattern was identified in the case of Mexico, with studies of 10.74%, 5.07%, 5.67%, 0.597%, and 3.58% focused on ecological, economic, cultural, social and the multifunctionality features of HGs respectively. Implications. The analysis of the scope and limitations of HGs contributes to identifying the need to carry out transdisciplinary research that reflects their whole dynamics as agroecosystems, in which, in addition to the ecological environment, there are various cultural aspects considered important in the indigenous communities of Mexico. Conclusions. The publications emphasized the importance of homegardens to provide multiple ecosystem functions and services to enhance human well-being. However, future research should reevaluate HGs based on a holistic multi-functional agriculture approach to promote them as one of the strategies conducive to improve family well-being. Also, it is suggested to evaluate the degree of sustainability of HGs based on its resilience and adaptation capacity to confront current challenges.
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Background Understanding the functional diversity of home gardens and their socio-ecological determinants is essential for mainstreaming these agroforestry practices into agrobiodiversity conservation strategies. This paper analyzed functional diversity of home gardens, identified the socio-ecological drivers of functions assigned to them, and assessed the agrobiodiversity benefits of home gardens functions. Methods Using data on occurring species in home garden (HG) and functions assigned to each species by the gardeners, the study combined clustering and discriminant canonical analyses to explore the functional diversity of 360 home gardens in Benin, West Africa. Next, multinomial logistic models and chi-square tests were used to analyze the effect of socio-demographic characteristics of gardeners (age, gender, and education level), agro-ecological zones (humid, sub-humid, and semi-arid), and management regime (single and multiple managers) on the possession of a functional type of home gardens. Generalized linear models were used to assess the effect of the functions of home gardens and the determinant factor on their potential in conserving agrobiodiversity. Results Seven functional groups of home gardens, four with specific functions (food, medicinal, or both food and medicinal) and three with multiple functions (more than two main functions), were found. Women owned most of home gardens with primarily food plant production purpose while men owned most of home gardens with primarily medicinal plant production purposes. Finding also showed that multifunctional home gardens had higher plant species diversity. Specifically, crops and crop wild relatives occurred mainly in home gardens with food function while wild plant species were mostly found in home gardens with mainly medicinal function. Conclusions Home gardening is driven by functions beyond food production. These functions are mostly related to direct and extractive values of home gardens. Functions of home gardens were gendered, with women mostly involved in home food gardens, and contribute to maintenance of crops and crop wild relatives while men were mostly home medicinal gardeners and contribute to the maintenance of wild plant species in home gardens. Although multiple functional home gardens were related to higher plant diversity, there was no guarantee for long-term maintenance of plant species in home gardens.
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Home gardens have received increasing attention and have been insistently presented as hotspots for agro-biodiversity over the last decades. However, apart from their exceptional high plant species diversity, there is little quantitative evidence of the effectiveness of plant species conservation in home gardens. This study examined this issue by assessing (i) the size and membership of garden flora and the contribution to the maintenance of the national flora, (ii) how home garden flora connects to the larger ecosystem it belongs to and (iii) the conservation status of plant species at the home garden level. 360 home gardens distributed in three agroecological zones and nine phytogeographical districts in Benin were visited and inventoried. Diversity parameters at different taxonomic levels were calculated. Species accumulation and spatial occupancy, multivariate methods and rarity index were also used for data analysis. Findings showed that the 360 studied home gardens hosted up to 14.21% of plant species and 44.32% of plant families of the national flora. Home garden flora was constantly dominated by exotic plant species but strongly connected to their surrounding ecosystems, being composed of at least 60% of plant species from their phytogeographical districts. Finally, home garden plant species were mostly rare and threatened at the home garden level. In this study, we acknowledge the contribution of home gardens to the maintenance of plant species diversity at regional and global levels than local level. Based on the observed prevalence of exotic species, HG effectiveness in sustainably conserving native plant species biodiversity remains questionable.
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Home gardens in southern Ethiopia are regarded as efficient farming systems, allowing interactions and synergies between crop, tree and livestock components. However, these age-old traditional home gardens are evolving rapidly in response to changes in both the socio-economic and biophysical environment. Altered cropping patterns, farm size and component interactions may affect the systems’ sustainability. Home gardens exhibit a huge diversity in farms and farming systems, which needs to be understood in order to design interventions for improvement. Dynamics of home gardens were studied over two-decades (1991–2013) based on a survey of 240 farm households and focus group discussions. Farms were grouped into five types: Khat-based, Enset-cereal-vegetable, Enset-based, Enset-coffee and Enset-livestock. Farm trajectories revealed a shift from food-oriented Enset-based and Enset-livestock systems to (1) cash crop oriented khat-based systems, and (2) combined food and cash crop oriented Enset-cereal-vegetable systems. In densely populated, market proximate areas a major trend was expansion of khat, from 6 to 35% of the area share per farm, while the combined area share of enset and coffee decreased from 45 to 25%. Concurrently, the cattle herd size fell from 5.8 TLU to 3.9 TLU per household. In medium populated, less accessible areas the trend was consolidation of combined production of food and cash crops. Enset and coffee together maintained a share of over 45%. Easy transport and marketing of the perishable cash-generating khat compared with traditional crops favoured its cultivation among smallholders located close to markets. The insights in home garden change in response to increasing population pressure, decreasing farm size and market development may help to design interventions to increase system sustainability.
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Background The sustainable management of animal health and welfare is of increasing importance to consumers and a key topic in the organic farming movement. Few systematic studies have been undertaken investigating farmers’ local knowledge related to this issue. Ethnoveterinary medicine (EVM) is a discipline focusing on local knowledge and folk methods in veterinary medicine, however most ethnoveterinarian studies primarily address the treatment of animal diseases. Very few studies have explored prophylactic methods. Methods An ethnoveterinary research project in Eastern Tyrol (Austria) was conducted in 2004 and 2005 to gather information about local knowledge of animal husbandry from 144 informants, with the emphasis on plants that maintain livestock health and welfare. ResultsInformants mentioned a total of 87 plants and 22 plant-based generic terms in the context of maintaining and improving livestock health and welfare. The most important preventive measures for maintaining and improving animal health and welfare were practices related to “fodder” and “feeding”. In this category the plants mentioned could be grouped according to three different perceptions about their effect on animals: “Good or bad fodder”, “Functional fodder” and “Fodder medicine”. In addition to fodder, environmental management, the human-animal relationship, household remedies and cultural/religious activities were also mentioned. When asked about practices in the past that maintained animal health and well-being, interviewees mentioned, for example, the importance of the diversity of sources that used to be available to obtain feed and fodder. Conclusions The informants’ approach that feeding is central to livestock welfare is in line with the standard scientific literature on animal health, including in organic farming. Various scientific studies into common fodder evaluate the nutritive and dietary value, efficiency and safety of fodder. Future studies also have to consider the evaluation of traditional, local fodder resources. In fact, the value of ‘food as medicine’ for humans in the context of local knowledge has been widely assessed, but the potential health benefits of fodder and nutraceuticals in local and traditional ethnoveterinary methods require further attention.
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Ecosystem services have become a critical issue in the environmental literature, however knowledge on whether women and men similarly value ecosystem services is still nascent. We aim at advancing the understanding of the relation between gender and environmental perceptions through the analysis of values assigned by women and men to ecosystem services supplied by home gardens in Vall Fosca (Catalan Pyrenees, north-eastern Spain). We found that women give a higher value than men to all ecosystem services. Overall, women’s valuation of the full range of ecosystem services provided by home gardens was 7.55% higher than men’s valuation. Gender socialization influences the way people interact with and value the environment, including highly managed environments such as home gardens. We argue that considering gendered differences in ecosystem services valuation may lead to policies more effective in enhancing ecosystem services provision.
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Book
Agro-Food Studies setzen sich integrativ und kritisch mit der Produktion und dem Konsum von Nahrung auseinander. Der Band behandelt die Spannungsfelder Tradition und Moderne, Globalisierung und Regionalisierung, Gesellschaft und Umwelt, Natur und Technik, Kopf und Bauch, Mangel und Überfluss. Die interdisziplinäre Einführung richtet sich an Studierende und Akteure der Zivilgesellschaft.
Article
Although home gardeners could logically install plant species at different places around their homesteads, there is no quantitative evidence of how home gardens (HGs) are spatially configured and how these spatial configurations (SCs) discriminate plant species within HGs. Using spatial position analysis with respect to homestead and garden inventories, this paper explores the SCs of 360 HGs and assesses their constituent species as well as their prevalence across seasons, agro-ecological zones (AEZs) and phyto-geographical districts (PDs) in Benin. The association between SC and species composition was tested using correlation coefficients and Jaccard dissimilarity. A non-metric multidimensional scaling and a canonical discrimination analysis were performed to detect SCs discriminating AEZ and PDs. Relative frequencies of each SC were calculated per PD and displayed on the Benin map using ArcGIS 10.0 software. Eight SCs were distinguished, and 90.55% of HGs contained at least two SCs. Except for yards, SCs shared no or few species. The occurrence and prevalence of SCs varied across AEZs and PDs. Because HGs have multiple SCs and dynamic components, their size and shape may not always be objective indicators in the HG horizontal structure analysis.
Poster
Although home gardeners could logically install plant species at different places around their homesteads, there is no quantitative evidence of how home gardens (HGs) are spatially configured and how these spatial configurations (SCs) discriminate plant species within HGs. Using spatial position analysis with respect to homestead and garden inventories, this paper explores the SCs of 360 HGs and assessed their constituent species as well as their prevalence across seasons, agro-ecological zones (AEZs) and phyto-geographical districts (PDs) in Benin. Association between SC and species composition was tested using correlation coefficient and Jaccard dissimilarity. A non-metric multidimensional scaling and a canonical discrimination analysis were performed to detect SCs discriminating AEZ and PDs. Relative frequencies of each SC were calculated per PD and displayed on the Benin map using ArcGIS 10.0 software. Eight SCs were distinguished and 90.55% of HGs contained at least two SCs. Except for yards, SCs shared no or few species. Occurrence and prevalence of SCs varied across AEZs and PDs. Because HGs have multiple SCs and dynamic components, their size and shape may not always be objective indicators in the HG horizontal structure analysis.
Article
Understanding biodiversity in homegardens embedded in landscapes dominated by commercial monoculture agriculture is critical for sustainable management of agrobiodiversity and meeting rural households’ needs in the face of global changes. We assessed agrobiodiversity in the 120 homegardens and its contribution to rural household livelihood strategies within a commercial monoculture sugarcane cultivation land matrix in eastern Uganda. We recorded a total of 68 plant species from 46 genera representing 27 families. Species richness spanned 6 to 19 species, and α-diversity (H’) ranged from 0.6 to 2.3; with 86.67% of the homegardens having H’ >1. Species composition differed significantly (global RANOSIM = 0.153, p < 0.001) among the villages. The most important and commonly maintained plants were those that provided food, fuelwood and money income and included Zea mays L., Manihot esculenta, Phaesolus spp., Coffea sp., Musa spp., Ipomea batatus and Artocarpus heterophyllus. Most of the crops cited as useful by households were also frequent and visible in many of the homegardens. Although homegardens still hold some valuable plants, there is also loss of important plants from the agricultural system including cowpeas, soya beans, bambara groundnuts, finger millet, cotton, aerial yams and oysternut essential for sustaining household livelihoods. This loss, precipitated by increased land-use/cover change to commercial sugarcane plantations threatens agrobiodiversity conservation and the benefits households derive from homegardens. Our findings underline the importance of homegardens in the conservation of indigenous agrobiodiversity, and indicate that with the continued expansion of commercial sugarcane cultivation this opportunity may be lost.