A Garden Variety is a project of the Hildegard von Bingen Society for Gardening Companions to collect and share recipes and rituals as scores for care, taking inspiration from the healing botanical remedies in Hildegard’s Physica.

Imagined at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and launched for the Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival in 2020, the project gathers a community-created care-cookbook of domestic scores to share ways in which we look after ourselves and each other.

The collection is for activities of the home. Cooking, gardening, singing, sewing, crafting, and letter-writing…  These are the tools that queer and feminist communities have long recognised as vital for social connection and underground organising. And for Hildegard von Bingen these tools could soothe and sa(l)ve; they were balms for physical, artistic, and spiritual needs.

Taste them, test them, play with them.

Then write us a new one—a tip passed on from the neighbour’s garden, a baked treat from an ancestor’s recipe, a whispered instruction for your houseplants, or simply a little ritual from your day.

Share anything at all that might busy the hands, heal sore eyes, or feed the mind: as long as it may easily be done at home.

Our bodies cannot share space and sound and time this year. We cannot inhale the same droplets of air. Yet just as we look after one another with masks and six feet of distance, let us also do so by sharing activities of tending, mixing, mending, teaching, learning, making, writing, weeping, and singing.

To contribute, send us documentation of your own completion of one of the scores below, along with a new score for the project. 

Send us your contributions here

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