A Car That's Good for the Environment
Most of us view cars as, at best, a necessary evil - they smell, pollute the environment, create traffic jams, and kill cyclists, but they do get us to Ikea and back.
Thankfully, the folks at the 'Community Vehicular Reclamation Project' in Kensington have discovered a way to modify a car to not only ensure that it never again needs to face heavy traffic, but that will also actually help reduce greenhouse gasses in the city - they've turned one into a planter.
Tricking-up an abandoned car now permanently parked outsid of La Palette in the north end of the Market seems to have been an excercise in gardening ingenuity. First they had to gut the car - pulling out the engine, seats, and anything else that might get in the way of root-systems. Then they made holes in the bottom for drainage, included a layer of gravel as a base, and filled the rest with dirt. Then came the plants.
It's mostly an herb garden, but there is one small - for now - tree peaking out the top of the roof. The variety and scope of the herbs is really spectacular, with everything from basil to a deliciously smelling chocolate mint. Every available space is planted: the trunk has been ripped off, the roof peeled back, the hood hollowed out; there are even plans for a small plant (perhaps some ivy?) to grow from the gas nozzle place (you'll forgive, I hope, my lack of knowledge of car part names).
It is hoped that the car will become a meeting spot - a place where the tree, when older, will provide a bit of shade, where the smell of freshly grown herbs will draw people in, and where the installation itself will serve as a conversation piece if nothing else. We can only hope though, that the City, known for being fun and art killers in the past, won't tow it away.
If it does, that will be the city's loss. But if it does, we have until then to enjoy it. So let's enjoy it.
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