The Roundtable
2:12 am
Mon December 4, 2006

Jennifer Nathan's Interview with Kenneth Helphand, author of Defiant Gardens 12/4/06

Albany, NY – We hear a lot about the cruelties of war, the hardships, the bloodshed, and the pure exhaustion that plague soldiers of every war.

So it would come as a surprise that soldiers during World War One - men who spent their days and nights digging trenches - would chose to pick up yet another shovel. This time to plant elaborate flower gardens and tidy rows of life sustaining vegetables.

Landscape architect Kenneth Helphand has taken a closer look at the gardens planted by soldiers during both World Wars - as well as by civilians trapped inside ghettos and internment camps - in his new book, Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens During Wartime.

Jennifer Nathan started by asking him to describe the photograph that inspired this investigation.