Am I in Wonderland? Wasn’t this colorful garden somewhere else just yesterday? Yes, it is a moving garden! Where you will find it next time is always a surprise!
This a weird location for one reason – since it is a moving location, I don’t know how to geotag it! It is a design piece, so it is marketable and reproducible. You can find this garden anywhere around the world. Anyway, this lomolocation is about this great concept – the Portable Garden – and places where I found it.
The author is a Portuguese designer called Leonel Moura with who I share the idea that “public art is the one that allows people to touch and seize the objects”. I like art that I can touch and interact with and I just loooove art that I can use in my day-to-day life!
Lisbon, as you know, is the most beautiful city in the world (:P), got this garden in April 2009 and it was placed at the main square of the city, Praça do Comércio, particularly in Cais das Colunas, the part of the square that connects to the river. The square has been under construction (constructions are a constant in our city and normally take years to be completed) and we all thought it would finally have trees once again (it used to be like that 100 years ago) but to my surprise, it didn’t. This is what makes this beautiful square very hot in the summer and very cold during winter, unfortunately not the nicest place to be. But wait, what are those colorful things near the river? Are those trees?! Yeeeees, olive trees placed in round, colorful benches/vases! :D
Because of all the constructions, this garden is even more useful. It gives color and life to the greyness that constructions normally bring to the city and the tradition that existed when I was younger to go to Cais das Colunas to read, date or just stare at the river is back, in great style (also because the columns that give the name to this place are also back after 10 years of… construction!). Last summer I even watched a movie in this cute garden and the title couldn’t be more appropriate – Kiarostamis’ “Through the Olive Trees”. And when the City Council decided that more constructions were needed in the square, there was no problem – the garden was moved to Cais do Sodré!
Not only can its location be easily changed by the City Council – since it has wheels, you can also decide what’s best for you! Facing the river, under the sun or in the shadow, you choose! And it even has a small shelf where you can put your book, drink, and of course, lomographic camera!
A place to sit, plants, wheels and vivid colors, isn’t this a great idea for an urban garden? Well, ideas are great but sometimes they don’t work in real life but this one did! I can say I have never seen this garden empty! People love it and not only Portuguese people and tourists – you can imagine my surprise when I found this garden in Shanghai! It was next to the Portuguese pavilion in the World Expo 2010 and Chinese people seem to like it as much as we do (although I don’t think olive trees would like Shanghai’s weather, I know I don’t; and so they placed another kind of plant)!
So, tell me, where have you seen one of these lately?