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Gowanus Garden Gets Shout-out in NYTimes

August 7, 2009
Courtesy of the New York Times

Courtesy of the New York Times

You don’t have to be an expert to start making your city more beautiful. Check out what Kirstin Tobiasson has been up to in the Gowanus area in Brooklyn, known more for its distinctly-odored canal and block-long warehouses than its gardens, in her discussion with NYTimes:

Eight-foot sunflowers tower over the graffiti on the warehouse wall. Larkspur and lavender, bee balm and verbena, clematis and sweet alyssum bloom here, as if they have freely self-seeded in the concrete.

“It used to be all sunflowers straight out to the street, so you had to walk through them,” said Kirstin Tobiasson, 39, who started this garden seven years ago when she was renting a studio in the warehouse. (The site belongs to the person who owns the warehouse.)

She started planting without knowing a thing about gardening. She just wanted to create a space, literally, among the crack needles and excrement left each evening beneath her fire escape.

So she began with easy, fast-growing annuals that wouldn’t tempt light-fingered passers-by the way a rose or a lily might. She followed no how-to guide, no step-by-step manual. This kind of gardening springs more from an attitude, and shows what city people can do just by taking on an ugly, scary space and seeing the beauty beneath. It’s the first lesson of gardening: Let go of preconceived notions and simply interact with the space.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Ben permalink
    November 24, 2009 8:55 pm

    Fantastic to see what one person with a passion can achieve. would love to see it inspire others in run down urban areas to try something similar, instead of just sitting on their arses moaning about shit.

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