Beauty in the backstreets
words by Kit
Eureka! A thought and hope has come to fruition in the back streets of Bondi!
An early morning visit on a cloudy Sunday to my little back laneway garden strip (a 40cm sliver of earth along a fence of 6 metres) brought me a great reward. While doing my regular weeding, transplanting and generally enjoying making the spot pretty, I saw another person lingering and looking with purpose at the plantings.
Several weeks ago I noticed that a section that I had left alone (maybe to tend later), had been planted with some lovely tufty grass, and clumps of daisies, the same specimens as in a tiny ‘landscaped’ spot I’d seen down the road over the past 15 years. I was delighted to see the new plantings, complementing what I’d been doing and wondered who it was.
Turns out that a neighbour in a nearby block of units (who I’d not seen before), a man in his fifties, has been doing ‘rogue gardening’ – as he put it – for many years, wanting to make the laneways beautiful and in particular wanting to prevent dumping of rubbish. He has succeeded in both of those things, with an older section that now has a small banksia tree as
well as the grasses and daisies.
It seems like we’ve been pulling each other up by the bootstraps, both with the same intention, but never sighting the other person in the act! Maybe my hope was born of the work from years ago of my newly found instigator, and he now has become active again, in response to my initiative close by. Nice story, eh!
My hope is that others will also be delighted by what they see in their wanderings, so that they might take the idea to their own local laneways.
Unfortunately my co-conspirator is not so optimistic, thinking that the area is inhabited only by Airbnb tenants, but I tell him about our local Transition Bondi group, and assure him that there are long term residents in the area. He claims to be ‘not a club sort of person’ so may not want to come along to our three monthly events (Film & Feast, Garden Dig and Farmers Market Stall). But encountering him this morning, before the world was stirring, was a great moment.