Conversations with Plants

Saturday 2 September, 11am – 3pm

Do ecologies speak? What kinds of thinking are plants doing? How do we relate to our vegetal kin?

Explore these questions in a garden study day at Forgan Arts Centre. Join artists, writers, gardeners, foragers and scientists to delve into the sensory life of plants. We’ll playfully unpick ideas of vegetal intelligence, ponder what a sentient ecology means for relations between humans and other species, and ask how we might move differently through a garden, recognising everything is animate.

Organised by artist Rowan Lear, with invited companions: plant scientist Emily May Armstrong, curator and chef Lydia Honeybone, botanist Greg Kenicer, artist and writer Hussein Mitha, and ecologist Keith Skene.

Guided activities include:

  • a workshop looking beyond gardens as colonial, bordered spaces 
  • instructions for outdoor games in communicating across species
  • a taster menu of plants to help us think and herbs to help us digest
  • a walk exploring the intelligence of our ecosystems
  • a talk on the folklore of thinking and speaking plants


Conversations with Plants is organised as part of the creation of The Sentient Garden, a multisensory microcosm within the wider garden environment at Forgan Arts Centre.

What to bring

The study day will take place both inside and outside, so participants should prepare for the weather with appropriate clothing. Otherwise all materials will be provided including refreshments and a light lunch. The event will be relaxed, most of the activities can be accessible to wheelchair users and there will be seating available. Children are welcome but should be supervised by an adult.

Book ticket

About The Sentient Garden

The Sentient Garden is the creation of a new sensory space at Forgan Arts Centre, led by artist and writer Rowan Lear. Reversing the traditional sensory garden which tends to revolve around human senses, The Sentient Garden is inspired by all the ways that plants are feeling, responding, learning, remembering and altering their surroundings. The project aims to reimagine the garden as a multisensory and sentient ecology where plants, people and other creatures dwell together.


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