In several Montreal neighborhoods, people have begun to plant flowers around the street trees. Looks very nice, and probably is good for the tree, since a wilting flower is often more successful in crying out for water than a tree is.
But as far as I know, this kitschy little plot near Jean Talon Market is unique. It grew over the last couple of years, nurtured by the people who were featured in last week's post, I think, as it is just outside their doorstep. I'd also guess that passerbys added contributions frequently. It always made me laugh.
You'll notice that I use the past tense. When I went by on Wednesday everything except some tattered plastic flowers and the day lily leaves had been torn up. I'd love to know the story. Did some city official decide it was unseemly? Did the folks who started it get tired of it? Or did the people with the nice little pocket garden have nothing to do with it, and pulled it up as an afront to their own carefully cared for space?
I'm also reminded of those monuments to kitsch, the Watts Towers which were ridiculed for years, and now are considered an amazing example of folk art.
Mary Soderstrom is a Montreal-based writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her new collection of short stories, Desire Lines: Stories of Love and Geography, will be published by Oberon Press in November, … more
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