Pirate gardens

pips garden title pic

There used to be a big nonsensical loop of interstate highway through the middle of downtown Providence. Some years ago, they rerouted the highway more sensibly, and tore down the old highway (which ran through some really prime downtown real estate). It’s mostly just green now: grass, and weeds, and wildflowers, and now and then (especially after a good heavy rain) huge angry geese.



When Boston redeveloped after the Big Dig, they left a nice strip of green through the heart of the city, and it’s a beautiful long narrow park snaking through the downtown area.



Providence won’t be that smart, I fear. I’m sure developers are already sparring for the land. But, for now, it’s mostly open space.



As I walk down Wickenden Street toward the Point Street Bridge, I cross a corner of this open space. And this is what I encountered about a month ago:



pips garden



Some local person – “Pip” – had claimed a few square feet of it, to grow sunflowers and cosmos and various other charming odds and ends.



Within a week or so, some other people had joined Pip and made their own tiny garden beside his own.



I wanted to see this pirate enterprise prosper. I wanted to see ten or twenty more little pirate gardens spring up by Pip’s garden.



But gardening is hard. Weeds and wildflowers can grow all by themselves without care; garden flowers need water and cultivation. Back about a week or so ago, things were getting pretty dry down there, and Pip’s garden was suffering



No one ever said that piracy was an easy life.



But Pip learned his lesson. It’s been a pretty hot summer, and Pip has been keeping everything watered nicely since then. The sunflower especially is very cute (as you can see).



I’d like to see more of this. I’d like to see more people reclaiming unused land, in vacant lots and by the roadsides, for flowers and whatever they wish. I’ve tried scattering seeds and planting things in odd places myself, but nothing ever seems to come of my attempts. (I should stick to wildflowers, I suppose.)



Pip’s kind of piracy is the kind of piracy I can really support.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

4 Responses to Pirate gardens

  1. It’s guerrilla gardening. I like it.

  2. starproms says:

    Isn’t that just adorable! Three cheers for her efforts and I do hope others join in.

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