Wednesday, 28 May 2008


What inspired me to get my hands dirty? A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend was about to go on the train back to Torquay. We spend the day just hanging around in Manchester. We had vegan chocolate cake, he bought me books and then we went into Urbis.

I'd never been in before but now it is my new favorite place. The second floor had a exhibition on urban gardening. And I was in awe.

I was incredibly impressed by the lovely French Flower Boxes hung on walls and perched on counters. I did dream of owning some but I'm told shipping would be a problem. I also spent my time reading On Guerrilla Gardening in a fake living room, fake cooking in a fake kitchen and leaving a real notice on a fake notice board.

Eventually, like every time I go to a museum, we wound up in the gift shop. There weren't many planty-type things but I saw these adorable plants in a can. The top is like a ring pull can of tomatoes and you rip it right off. The bottom is like a coke can which drains onto something like the top of a pringles tin. The Boyfriend bought me Lavender and Dahlias and that night I started growing my first plants.

The next day I was passing through Manchester on my way to a doctors appointment and picked up some instant poppies and chives. That weeks visit to the supermarket involved me returning with a plant and a bird feeder. My third visit to the exhibition and I finally bought On Guerrilla Gardening along with some other gardening books from Waterstones. I was even staying in to watch Chelsea.

I'm writing this now on the night after my fourth visit. I took my cousin Kelsie and found some new things to play with. A Paper Potter was used to make a fleet of tiny paper tubs. We even taught a little girl how to do it too. Then we decorated our own pot holders using porcelain markers. The pot inside contains an expertly planted sunflower seed. I think we where a little above the target audience but they didn't seem to mind.

So that's how I came to garden. Without a garden. But we will come to that later and, probably, often.

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