“Garden, may I be your house?”

When I am out and about, I often pass by this poignant tableau; a section where all that remains, post earthquakes, is a garden.  I usually see lots of sections completely reduced to rubble, so this garden, minus house, intrigues me.  It makes me wonder; what would our city environment be like if we always put the garden before the house?  Mostly, we build a house and then add the garden.  Or, so it seems to me.  If we created the garden first, we could then ask, ” Garden, what kind of house would you like?” The answers might surprise us. The garden might reply, “No more tilt slab concrete please; tread lightly on my soul .”  Maybe?  And, if we listen carefully to the answers, we might ultimately achieve a city in a garden rather than our current, albeit beautiful, gardens in a city.

In the meantime, warm thanks to the good people who, despite the devastating loss of their home, keep their garden alive and, thereby, beautify what would otherwise be yet another desolate plot. If they rebuild, I hope their new home will be a blessing to their garden.

Question?  How does our city compare with Singapore which has almost half of its area in green space and has had a dedicated “city in a park” policy since the 1960s? Has anyone done the calculations?

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