Alongside the dislodged doorway, a city wasteland has been temporarily tamed into a small shared garden. With little greenery in this most mineral of environments, the city council handed over the management of the space to a collective who have drawn and dug a series of micro-gardens.
The volunteers have had two limitations placed on them. Firstly, no running water will be provided, meaning that rain water has needed to be salvaged, and a predominance of plants that flourish in dry conditions. Secondly, the garden will have a short life span, providing just a brief blaze of green before the planned social housing digs its foundations down into the beds.
No-one is here when I pass, and little is here to keep people in the garden beyond two benches and the promise of calm and quiet. Dominating the garden are the high walls of neighbouring structures, and on one of these the imprint of what must have stood here before. The scribbled lines of a house, the shape of which could easily have come from a child’s imagination.
Dust back to dust. New walls will rise, new stories will be created, but other ephemeral traces of the past will be erased from our shared landscape.