City, city, often pretty, how does your garden grow?
With empty bottles of rum and not empty condoms
And tomatoes lined up in a row.
In my personal almanac, Spring begins at the Winter Solstice, when daylight begins outstripping darkness. As a gardener, unfrozen earth is the first hint that I can start planting those cool weather crops like peas and kale. And as an urban gardener, I never know what treasures or surprises I’ll find in my garden plot. There can be errant tomato plants, unidentified flowers, and even a little non-organic matter.
When I gardened in the Fens, I found used condoms, men’s underwear and a belt. More used condoms and beer bottles sprouted regularly in the Symphony Road plot. Oscar Parker garden in Mission Hill has its share of bottles and sundry junk food wrappers and is also the site of the best dump I’ve ever received: a five foot tall metal sculpture. Buried in the Spring snow a few years ago, at first I thought it was just an iron pipe but unearthed it revealed itself to be so much more. Given the weight of this thing and the fact that it would take at least two very fit people to hurl it over the fence, I believe it was intended as a gift as much as a dump.
So thank you, anonymous MassArt or Museum School student. I assume you finished this piece and had nowhere to put it so you made an unsolicited nocturnal submission – and one so much more pleasant than the others I’ve received.
At first, I tried to erect it in my plot since it would’ve made a kick-ass trellis for my sweet peas. Unable to secure it well enough on the uneven, muddy garden soil, I conferred with garden managers and someone fastened it to the concrete in a common area.