Archive for the ‘Woolloomoolloo’ tag
There’s a small crowd milling around on the block opposite the Old Fitzroy pub in Woolloomooloo. But although it’s one of the few unrenovated, unreconstructed parts of East Sydney, this is strictly wholesome.
Wholesome in the true sense of the word: bound by Dowling Street, Reid Avenue and McElhone Street, it’s a community garden, and it’s been interesting to watch it develop over the last couple of years.
The garden is run by local neighbours and friends through the voluntary Greening Woolloomooloo. They’re good at applying for grants, and since first pitching the project in late 2004, have developed the garden into a moderately stable thing.
You can imagine a face off between the gardeners and the usual denizens of a spot like this, tucked between inner city apartments, highway overpasses, and dark lanes. But graffiti is a big part of this garden.
The garden is divided into roughly four quadrants: upper and lower food production terraces, an art area and nursery, and a lower decorative terrace. It uses water harvesting at various points, and a water storage tank.
It’s a garden that makes me want to walk through the area just to see how it’s growing.
The public art/guerilla garden at the corner of Cathedral and Palmer Streets, Woolloomoolloo, wasn’t removed by council (as we wrongly guessed a couple of weeks ago). It was the group behind the original display, Guerrilla Gardeners, and they’ve returned.
I like the latest desert inspired installation.
Just in time for Baz’s blockbuster.
Everyone who passes takes a look inside, wonders what it means, and moves along.
Sunanda Creagh picked up the Guerrilla Gardeners story today in the SMH, mentioning for the first time (I think) that Channel 10 is behind the mysterious gardens that have appeared at sites in Ashfield, Killara, Bankstown, Canterbury, as well as Surry Hills and one site we’ve been keeping an eye on in Woolloomoolloo.
The development covered in today’s Herald features a bandstand, new turf, chairs and plants in Australia Park, next to the Newtown neighbourhood centre. It was erected without a DA; it would hardly be guerilla if they were applying, right?
I don’t know that if we put a DA in on land that’s not ours that it would get through.
But the magic of guerilla gardening, as I get it, is about planting gardens in forgotten bits of dirt in urban areas. The Guerilla Gardeners’ projects have deployed a bandstand, a recommissioned VW car and a Hills Hoist for visual effect. And while the plants used have been pretty, they seem to lack the long term garden (/community) development.
Call it a new era in community spirit or just foodies wanting to get their fine produce thing on, community gardens are thriving across the city.
Council got a full update on community gardens on November 17:
The City owns two community gardens and provides support for a further eight community gardens. Located at: Angel St, Newtown; Longdowne St, Newtown; three gardens on Raglan St, Waterloo; Moorehead St, Redfern; Ogden & Marriott Sts, Redfern; St Johns Rd, Glebe; Dowling St, Woolloomooloo; and Chapman Rd, Rozelle Bay.
There is strong demand for the additional community gardens to grow food, provide social interaction and involvement in environmental education and projects… in Glebe (Paddy Gray Reserve), Pyrmont (Kid’s Garden at The Knoll), Woolloomooloo (Bourke Street Park) and a City farm at Sydney Park.
In total, a budget of $25,000 is allocated annually to support community gardens. This excludes additional support through grants and sponsorships which changes each year according to requests received and funding allocated by Council..
There’s a new council how-to guide for community gardens, and a new council job for a community gardens officer.
A guerrilla garden/public art project appeared on the corner of Cathedral and Palmer Streets, Woolloomoolloo, a few months ago – we blogged about it at the time.
The letters W-O-O-L-L-O-O-M-O-O-L-L-O-O were pegged on a Hills Hoist right in the centre of the garden.
As you can see above, the Hills and letters are gone.
Went past today and it’s all gone. Back to being a fenced-off concrete square.
Community gardens were almost fatally linked to mung beans, beards and ’60s folky idealism.
But with the last two hip again, plus the food supply and public health impacts of a changing climate – and (maybe) deteriorating urban neighbourhoods – shared gardens are back on the radar.
There is at least one in Woolloomoolloo, on the corner of Sydney Place and Dowling Street, where Mission Australia gets people suffering from mental illness to plant and tend vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Gardening has helped improve clients’ social skills and boosted their social interactions. It’s gone a long way to elevating their confidence too. Seeing the plants grow, and picking their own vegetables has given them a sense of achievement.
That garden was vandalised soon after.
Garden numbers are growing (see the council’s map).
Outside Mobbs’s house in Chippendale a little garden grows. Beside it a sign reads: “Mandarins, oranges, limes, chillies, mint, native mint, coriander, rocket, strawberries, raspberries, kaffir lime leaves, cumquats, parsley, passionfruit, bay leaves, lemon myrtle and more … Pick any fruit, berry or leaf that you want to eat. These plants provided by local residents for anyone – we need to grow food where we live and work.
I was about to say, “how do I get involved?” But I guess that last quote says, “make it happen.”
It’s a risky game, but the payoff is pretty huge.
It’s not the Mines of Moria though. This Lord of the Rings-esque pic from Urban Exploration Resource was taken below east Sydney, in the Woolloomoolloo Reservoir.
Built in 1930s, to store oil for the nearby Garden Island Naval Base. Used till 1960s. Now disused.
Massive twin reservoirs, oil slicked walls and pillars, 8m high, each half the size of a football field (which code, i dunno). Inset centres with steps, a bit of water mixed with oil, big ladders, killer resonance, stinks of oil.
uer.ca says the manhole is on Lincoln Avenue.
This fenced-in section of footpath was at the corner of Cathedral and Palmer Streets, Woolloomooloo, when Google’s street mappers toured in late 2007.
Not exactly inviting. But several months ago it sprouted a carpet of astroturf, several pot plants and a Hill’s Hoist.
I thought it was public art. Turns out it’s Guerrilla Gardeners.