Last summer there were beach huts and sand pits, this year there will be a series of ‘rooms’ made of large planters with each plant family taking centre stage in each room. The rooms will be open during the day and closed up at night. The walls of the rooms are made up of multicoloured windows scattered with window boxes.
The drawings from Wayward show the designs:
As 1 of 4 volunteers starting early on Friday morning I was introduced to the site and given a quick briefing. The site had already been set up and lots of the materials were already on site but we would be taking delivery of a few things during the day.
Our first job was to prepare the plastic window panes which had been delivered with additional tape stuck onto the edges to protect them, and this needed to be removed. Jarred (the project manager) was apologetic for the mundanity of the task, and on discoverery of this issue on the first delivery, he had since requested that the additional tape not be added to the next shipment. The tape needed to be removed as it would show up on the final windows and this would detract from the final effect.
I met some really interesting people during my time with Wayward and one of the benefits of a mundane task like peeling tape of plastic is that you get to have a good old natter!
It was also really lovely to spend the day (even if it was pretty cold for May) on the south bank of the Thames, watching the world go by, including a few friendly kayakers:
During the day, we took delivery of the window frames which had been built and painted off site…
One of the tasks I had hoped to get involved in was making some of the benches that will form the seating around the planters and double as storage for the watering cans. However, part of the cons of volunteering is that it’s your task to do whatever job it is that is required at that time, so you can’t be too picky.
I returned for a few hours on Saturday and spent some time moving the materials from the store to the site in order that more benches could be put together. The other job was cutting off the tips of the sail bases as they had been cut just 1 cm too long to fit.
I really enjoyed my time with the Wayward Plant team and the other volunteers. And guess where the vegetable plants are being grown for the exhibition…. yup, OrganicLea! It’s a small world when you’re in the urban growing scene in London, and it’s nice to be involved.