It was easier than I thought.
My post on Guerrilla Gardening generated some enough enthusiasm from friends locally that we got to work straight away. T offered to come late in the night to dig up the patch and bring plants as well. Noted environmentalist, the young Clinton offered to pitch in with a watering can and compost (contact him if you need some!).
Clinton, being with the CCP, was of a lot of use without the compost as well. He asked the local garbage contractor to help and put me in touch with the CCP gardener. I chased (and chased) the local garbage-incharge to clean the area, which he did.
The construction debris that was abandoned was not collected straight away as it was “another department’s problem”. A little more chasing up and follow-up by Clinton resulted in the clearing of the remainder of the rubbish a couple of days later.
The CCP’s gardener (with a bemused look on his face at the fuss) came to see the plot and decide what to plant. I suggested something simple and indigenous which wouldn’t require too much maintenance or watering. He suggested grass. I didn’t think it would work given the maintenance it required and suggested something like bougainvilleas instead. He said he’d be back with the plants when the debris was cleared.
A day or so later, the CCP’s garden crew were here, planting hedging and yes, grass.
We watered the patch for a few days but in this 34 deg C heat the grass has long since browned. Maybe the coming monsoons will revive it.
In the meantime, the itch for some gardening wouldn’t go away. One dark evening, T organised a small team of guerrilla gardeners who came armed with digging implements and pink periwinkle plants. Half an hour later, the CCP’s grass was punctuated with clumps of green periwinkle plants and pink flowers. We’ve been watering the patch every evening and hope that with the rains the area will be blooming pretty soon.
Keeping it clean is another matter altogether.
The next day, the visitors began arriving.
First, there were sparrows. Then came the mynahs. Then the magpies.
Then, one drizzly morning, this gorgeous blue kingfisher.
(If you live in the Fountainhas-Mala area and need your neighbourhood cleaned, contact me or Clinton. We’ll put you in touch with the local contractor.)