I think of the power invested in people who are generally remembered as big thinkers, the people who transform landscapes, like Capability Brown, who stock glasshouses with orchids, who re-wild acres of land they've had the money to buy....I think of most of us, the lucky ones with a square of garden, others with balconies and pots, others with nothing but a strip of grass and where I live, that's being parked on.
I think of the women who hold the secrets of growing everywhere in the world where this still happens, where it's not a hobby but a necessity and I think of my daughter watering pots of seeds in the nursery where she works, the kids' delight as they grow.
And Ron Finley, describing gardening in the city as defiance. If kids grow kale, kids eat kale, he says. I thought of the pathetic planters on Lewes Road and abandoned, unlet allotments at Tenantry Down. We need people like Finley to remind us of what's right, of what can be done with energy and drive.
|Planters, Ravenna, Italy|
It's not guerrilla gardening, but up the hill the community orchard continues to grow.
The questions for each city or urban area will be different, but in Brighton green spaces are seriously under threat from building, parking and strimming. Can we change? Can we make gardening radical and real, not just rhetoric?