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WORKSHOP REPORT: Hands on effective interpretation - Making your garden come alive!

This session was run by Maryke Honig and John Roff on the Thursday session J, education.

Home | Contents | Aim | Abstract | Programme | Outcome | Some Useful References


The aim of this workshop was to provide participants with the skills and techniques needed to practise better interpretation in their home gardens.

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The workshop began by exploring the principles of effective environmental interpretation. We then put some of these principles into practice by doing a short interpretative walk in the garden, and evaluating it according to the above-mentioned principles. Then we focused on interpretative signage, considering aspects such as content, design, language and use of illustrations. Participants had the opportunity to design their own interpretative signs in this session, and to share some of their experiences in interpretation. We do not pretend to have all the answers, but we know that when interpreters meet and talk together, plenty of sharing and learning takes place, which helps all of us do our work better.

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Participants enjoyed this workshop very much because it demonstrated practical ways of putting interpretive techniques into practice in a garden context. The use of music and other forms of artistic expression in interpretation was emphasised, and participants enjoyed particularly being able to enjoy the garden from a different perspective. One of the drawbacks was the rather short time period available for the amount of material covered. Ideally such a workshop needs to extend over two sessions, and have ample time for problem-solving and feed back.

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Some Useful References for Interpretation

Sharpe, Grant W (1976) Interpreting the Environment, John Wiley and sons, inc.

Ham, Sam H (1992) Environmental Interpretation: a practical guide for people with big ideas and small budgets. North American Press



Copyright 1999 NBI