recent activity in the antipodes

  • 2 replies
recent activity in the antipodes
« on: September 14, 2008, 02:05:45 AM »
Well, yesterday was stinking hot - the first day of non-winter weather and it felt like midsummer. Today when I woke early, it still felt balmy but was overcast, and I had high hopes of rain. A friend of mine just sent me a parcel containing books for bookcrossing (another subversive give-something-to-the-world activity of mine) and a lot of packets of seed, so I decided to do something about it.

Ironically, I didn't use her seed - I had a two-kilo bag of birdfeed-grade sunflower seed (every bit as fertile as the tiny packets), so I poured that into an easy-to-handle plastic bag and went for a walk.

Right on cue it started raining. Slightly concerned for the mobile phone in my pocket, I kept on walking. Along the streetside verge near where I live, there is one stretch about fifteen metres long that is always waterlogged - I think there is some seepage from the plumbing of the motel behind it, so I scattered seed thickly as I walked past. If birds eat 90%, and then 90% of what remains doesn't germinate (which I know from previous experience of this seed is worse than a worst-case), then there will still be a lot of sunflowers come up, which will help drain the patch. And the council workers around here pay little attention to the verges, so hopefully by the time someone drags a mower here, they'll be tall enough and obvious enough to be left alone.

Moving along, I scattered handsful of seed in what had once obviously been a small rockery-garden in front of a local business, now full of dead grass. I decided not to remove the dead grass, just rustle it to let the seed drop to soil-level below it, with the dead grass both acting as a mulch and preventing birds from seeing and consuming the seed before it grows.

My actual destination was an empty block of land that has been widely ignored: a mattress has been dumped on it close to the road, and a cement mixer obviously poured off some slurry there too, once a long time ago. Further back from the road, there are lush growths of fennel, too far away from the road to attract the attention of council spray-carts and their poisons, which I often raid when I'm cooking. I walked in amongst it in the rain, and scattered handsful of seed in all directions, so it fell on bare ground, and also so it fell beneath the fennel. It'll be lovely to see an abandoned bit of wasteland have sunflowers pop up and smile all over the place!

My car died totally, so I now have to put on hold any plans to establish little mini-gardens around the place in gold-spray-painted tyres like I had been planning (and managed to do once), because I simply don't have the means to carry a tyre, a couple of bags of compost and/or potting mix, a bag of mulch, plus plants and seed, to any location at all. I'm on a very low wage and I'm paying more than half of it in rent, so I can barely cover food expenses now - I think I'll just stick with scattering seed for a while, and go back to the glamorous little gardens later.

Sorry to the person in Newcastle who invited me up, but I simply wouldn't be able to transport supplies on the train.



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  • Sydney cabbie and street art collector
    • Wallup
Re: recent activity in the antipodes
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2008, 01:29:00 PM »
Are there any of your gold painted tyre gardens about in Sydney?  Can you tell me where?

There is a guerilla garden in Sydney .

I don't know when it appeared, but I put a photo of it up on my street art site the other day.

It is at the corner of Sth Dowling St and Cleveland Sts, in the middle of the intersection, above the Eastern Distributor.

The photo is here -

That is part of Wallup, an online gallery of street art, which is here -

Also, check Woolloomooloo at the corner of Palmer & Cathedral.  There is a flash garden there, looked a bit like a Mental As Anything album cover at its best, looking a bit tired now.  It featured a Hills Hoist with the letters from 'Woolloomooloo' hanging around it.  Only 'W' & 'O' remain.

Colin Hubert

Re: recent activity in the antipodes
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2008, 10:54:18 AM »
That's a gorgeous little planted-up car! I feel tempted, in future times of greater resources, to acquire a heap of plants, compost and the like, and hit *real* abandoned, rusty wrecked cars and turn them into little oases of greenery!

No, none of my golden tyres made it to Sydney, I live a couple of hours north of Sydney in The Entrance (north of Gosford), and I loathe and detest cities - I haven't been near one in several years, in fact. This area is overpopulated and overpolluted enough for me.

In fact, I only made up two of my gold tyre planters before my car died terminally, and carrying a tyre, two bags of compost, a bag of mulch and a tray of punnets of seedlings and/or sachets of seed by hand when you;'re walking, not to mention spades, gloves and things, are all just a bit too much of an eccentric fatwoman like me.

I'm waiting for Santa CLaws to stuff my stocking with large-denomination notes - or my driveway with a nice new car. In the meantime any serious digging has gone beside teh board - I've become a seed-scatterer.

And a proud one! a council strip nearby has around eighty to a hundred sunflower seedlings all about ten to fifteen centimetres high and still soft-fleshed, an empty block of land has some coming through (although they aren't obvious from the road yet), and mixed cottage garden flowers are turning up in a window-box in a nearby house <naughty grin>

That reminds me - I must remember to email richard - he's updated the blog, but hasn't yet updated the "troop digs" with my story and pics, which he said he'd do. I'll get onto it in a short while.