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Paradise TransplantedMigration and the Making of California Gardens$
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Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520277762

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520277762.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

The Gardeners of Eden

The Gardeners of Eden

(p.71) 3 The Gardeners of Eden
Paradise Transplanted

Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo

University of California Press

This chapter examines the work it takes to maintain the private garden paradises of middle-class and upper-class home gardens, focusing on home owners and the Mexican immigrant gardeners they employ. It shows how the immigrant gardener labor system involves a triangle of dreams that connect home owners, route-owner gardeners (who own the trucks and the tools), and the ayudantes (helpers, the paid employees of the head gardeners). The home owners want residential dreamscapes, impeccably maintained home lawns and gardens while the Latino gardeners seek living wages and economic solvency. Everyone is chasing a different dream, and gardens, money, and labor connect them in an expansive web that stretches across the big properties and smaller suburban tracts of Southern California. Relying on audio-recorded interviews with Latino immigrant gardeners, home owners, and a handful of landscape designers, the chapter reveals how paid residential gardening is organized, how it shapes the gardens and ultimately all of us who live here. Ethnic succession and gender succession characterize these changes in residential gardening labor.

Keywords:   Southern California, residential gardening, Latino immigrants, immigrant gardeners, ethnic succession, gender succession, gardening labor

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