Cue image of the Mona Lisa guzzling full-fat fromage-frais.
So, what we did for our first skill share session, with the help of workshop volunteer and guerrilla gardener Maria, was create graffiti that grows, or more specifically, moss graffiti. There are, as it turns out, quite a few ways of growing graffiti and not all of them are equally effective. My first lonesome foray into the idea ended sadly with a slug-munched plesiosaur-shaped splat of mud on the side of a derelict building near my home. The moss did not grow. Not only did the moss not grow, but my home blender is to be forever tinged the shade of luminous chlorophyll… it was a shot.
On this occasion, a more direct approach. We made an eco-friendly glue that is quite the delicacy for wall-bound vegetation and harvested some slabs of moss from the Napiershall St Centre grounds. After chalking our familiar WSREC logo, we gathered round to colour it in. The glue we used was made from beer, yoghurt, sugar and flour. And we used our hands to apply it to the wall… who has time for glue sticks, anyways?!
Moss graffiti is aesthetically pleasing, but that’s only a percentage of the reason it’s a great project to undertake. It’s cheap or free and therefore accessible to everyone as an artistic medium. It treads so lightly on the planet, using natural materials for application, no chemicals needed – and any waste can go right back into the earth. But mostly, like other forms of guerrilla gardening, moss graffiti is inspired by the urge to recreate and re-green our disused or neglected urban spaces. In spaces where it might not be feasible for locals to plant trees or grow vegetables, moss graffiti is a medium spoken from the ecological mind – it sends a clear, resounding message that we need nature, and that we value it.
For further reading, here is a newspaper article on the topic;
I have trawled google and found the following relevant links for anyone wanting to give this a shot. If these ones ain’t your bag, there are more to be found via the internet!
In other exciting news, I completed my mission to source a second-hand greenhouse for our garden. Twice daily or thereabouts, I scour for freebies or cheap recycled stuff, I can’t help it, it is compulsive, I trawl the internet for things and for stuff. So, rather than spend too-much money on something pre-manufactured, only to have it emit three trillion tonnes of carbon in transit, arrive in too-much packaging and with a surly signature to be given, I acquired this greenhouse from a most friendly person just down the road, and she threw in a potting table, two trellises (trelli?) and some pots for us into the deal. She received the shockingly tiny amount of money that she requested for all these items and an invitation to our garden party. Not only that, but I got to hear incredible van-stories from Alan-the-van-man of local and aptly titled business, manwithvan.
In all, a successful week. Don’t forget the garden party on Thursday 24th September, 5-8pm, all welcome! Also, on Tuesday 22nd 5.30-7.30pm, we will host a free stained glass workshop but there are only a few spaces, so let us know asap if you would like spot!