Barges used to make up a large percentage of England’s boats. Used to haul pretty much everything up and down the interior waterways of the UK, the bottoms of these flat boats would be filled with ballast (rocks, earth, etc) to weigh down the vessels when they docked. This ballast was often dumped, leaving behind large quantities of plant seeds, many non-indigenous, that were preserved in the river beds.
Turns out “ballast seed” stays preserved pretty well. So well that designer Gitta Gschwendtner and artist Maria Thereza Alves have created this floating garden on an old barge in Bristol England, made entirely with non-native seeds dug up from English riverbeds, creating an interactive and natural bit of history.
The Ballast Seed Garden is located on Bristol’s Floating Harbour.
As an urbanite who understand the issues regarding urban sprawl, I realize that we’ve got no choice but to accept the presence and growth of condo developments in the downtown core. Better that we create density in an area where people don’t need cars than to continue to force people out to the burbs where their ugly houses destroy valuable farmland and their hour-long commutes create pollution.
That doesn’t mean I have to like the whole “lifestyle marketing” scheme that comes with so many condo projects.
Today in the mail, I received a postcard for something called Kormann House (note – bullshit Flash website – click at your own risk!). This is a historic 19th century building at Queen Street East and Sherbourne that is in the process of having an ugly glass tower perched atop it. These types of buildings are accepted and encouraged because the facade at street level remains virtually unchanged, but the overall structure often comes off looking like two very disaparate buildings mushed together.
Maybe it’s because of my background in vintage clothing, but I’ve noted on more than one occasion that people dress too darn casually. Jeans, ballcaps and those hateful flipflops make Torontonians look like slobs as they walk down our city streets. There was a time when no one would be seen in public without a proper hat, or gloves, and where “dressing up” wasn’t so much about putting on a clean t-shirt but actually dressing appropriately.
Which is why it was so delightful to see people dressed up at the Santé wine event we attended last week at the Carlu. Men wore jackets, crisp shirts and polished shoes. Ladies arrived in a variety of pretty dresses – not evening gowns, but something a bit more dressy than they’d wear to work.