After hinting that some guerrilla gardening was on the cards, I’ve realised that I’ve neglected to give you an update. In a nutshell it’s going slowly. This is thanks to a number of conundrums raised by some dear friends who probably think to much for their own good. Oh they’re all keep to muck in and the idea has certainly siezed their imagination, but they’ve hinted that this small garden, when it finally gets going, should make a statement, should be used to convey a message of sorts, instead of simply being a garden for a garden’s sake.
And taking into consideration such factors as peak oil, global food price increases and Cosatu’s recent protest marches, the consensus among these friends, well among Jamie, James, Margaret and Margaret at least, is that this patch we cultivate should be a food garden.
Oh dear. While garden bloggers in Britain mutter about slugs and snails the size of a baby finger, Durban has whole troupes of monkeys which can sniff out a garden from 20 kilometres and descend upon it with the kind of enthusiasm children reserve for sticky green icing on monster birthday cakes. Short of hanging a dead monkey from a nearby tree, a rather macabre deterrent suggested by my landlord who spends six months of the year living in a mud hut, I doubt there would be anything left of our garden, let alone young marrow flowers, unless we grew the stuff inside a wire cage secured with a heavy padlock. The other problem is that vegetables are rather hard work, demanding a good measure of follow through in the watering and feeding department, to which I’m not sure work/life obligations will permit our well-meaning crew to commit (you try arrange something when your mates are in Dakar or out of range in snowy Lesotho).
So the next option if flowers. Sunflowers, someone proposed. Be a bit tall for a traffic circle, another countered. Exotics, one muttered. How about aloes, another said. Osteospermum? I offered throwing in a nice flower with a long name which I think only confused things. Silence.
All this and we haven’t found a site yet. So much for throwing a seed bomb of the fence of a derelict site and hoping for the best. Watch this space though. We might simply have to stop fussing, find the nearest road island and get on with it. I’ll let you know when it’s going to happen – but don’t hold your breath.