Seed Diaries 

A roughly weekly account of my seed tray growth and gardening activities that dig up thoughts on what gardening means. Including the history, material culture and personal issues gardening brings to the surface.

Week 2: Page 2 of 3 


...what the offerings were meant to be – what the purpose of them was? Life-force: ‘[t]he main spiritual mechanism for the transfer of an offering from offerent to Deity was the ka, or vital, life energy’.6 

This ‘life energy’ was in everything from mountains to fish to humans and deities and was often depicted in statues as arms lifted upwards. This is something which is becoming increasingly re-introduced into contemporary thinking about things. The significance of the objects around us.

One such iteration of this is in Vibrant Matter a book by Jane Bennett. Most of it is deep inside academic theoretical debates about the presence of things and what it could theoretically mean to apply agency to things. But on a practical level it works very well with thinking about the things that surround us. Whether it be a plastic aeroplane you find in the soil, a mug of coffee or a tomato

6. ‘Offering to Isis’, June 21, 2020, Isiopolis: A Votive Work in Honor of the GoddessIsis, <> [accessed on 16th March 2021]

seedling. Considering in someway its’ value, its’ interactions how it can create affects and how it effects its’ surroundings, would be a way of treating things differently.

What it means to garden (and to have a garden at all) has changed since Ancient Egyptian times and yet it hasn’t. I’m not a priest but I am a fortunate white woman who has had opportunities based in part on where I was born and I have not come from a completely impoverished background (neither was it wealthy). I don’t have a religion but I have a sense of consciousness when it comes to wellbeing

i.e I know when I need to find some positive things to do. One major difference is the actions and movements of gardening for me provoke some sense of agency and control. Whereas, the Ancient Egyptian garden would have had different levels of people interacting with it. I don’t believe, as a rule, it was the priests who would be digging. And their garden was centred around what they could not control, their Gods.

I have no control as to whether more tomato seedling will grow or not which is definitely part of the joy. A safe amount of the unknown and a great sense of satisfaction and wonder when they do grow. Although it is worth reminding myself of the Herculean strength of the seed and the agency of things.