Friday, 7 January 2011

A la Folie – encore

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.

7 comments:

Christine H. said...

There's something very appealing about the spot, at least from the camera's vantage point. I guess if you were sitting on the bench there, maybe it's not as nice. I like the view of the wall very much.

PhotoMarg said...

Isn't it wonderful to see some greenery in amongst the stonework. Of course nature would have grown some weeds there anyway. Thanks again for another interesting place you have found for us.

Owen said...

Progress waits for no abandoned ghosts to decide they are ready to disappear forever... they just go, with the heartless efficiency of bulldozers and wrecking balls...

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Those lines really do look like an old house! It definitely seems like a quiet place. Almost a little eerie.

Jill said...

What an interesting spot. Those two (dead?) trees either side of the house imprint give this an almost eerie feel, like an image in a ghost story.
It's great to see examples of this kind of guerrilla gardening - locals taking over abandoned spots to create some much-needed greenery. Often they will grow vegetables, but I guess that would be particularly challenging in January with no running water...

Cergie said...

Beaucoup de poésie dans ce message et de la nostalgie aussi.
Je vais t'apprendre un mot qui vaut bien Ghost Sign que tu m'as appris c'est palimpseste. En l'occurence tu as ici un très beau palimpseste architectural.
(Une excellente année 2011 à toi, Adam !)

Kiki said...

oh, never mind the fascinating story and interesting photos - it's your English that really does it for me! You have a fantastic vocabulary and I happily 'paddle and swim' in the lake of wonderfully constructed and imaginative paintings of your words.
I am really glad to have found you although I have no idea how and where and why....
who cares?! fut I DO feel sorry for the gardeners who have gardens with such an insecure and short life span!

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