OOTS: Public Planting Gets Political

It appears I'm not alone in my campaign for better public planting - hurrah! The Human Shrub will be taking the Conservative Party Conference by storm tomorrow morning with a bit of light container gardening outside the conference centre in Manchester to highlight poor open space provision in new developments. This is a joint event with the Greening the UK campaign, who have compiled a report recently on the subject. I hope to obtain my own copy soon to see if I can add anything to my notes from the Public Space workshop.

I first came across the Human Shrub during the summer and I've been waiting for an opportune moment to tell you all about him. He's been highlighting Colchester's public spending cuts which led to the town's tubs and baskets being left bare this year. He planted them up himself and also demonstrated outside the Town Hall whilst wearing an antihero style costume. He's also rather concerned that the Blue Peter Garden may be lost when the programme moves to new studios in Manchester in 2011. Unfortunately his proposed e-petition on the government's website was rejected as being too 'frivolous'. As usual, our local and national press have written up these events in their uniquely wonderful style. It also appears there is a Mrs Shrub.

Unfortunately I can't bring you any pictures of the Human Shrub as all the images I've found are subject to copyright. The photo of my garden's conifers are the closest likeness I have to hand, but the links I've provided will reveal both him and Mrs Shrub in their full glory.
How about down your way? Has anyone protested about public planting or your open spaces in a similar fashion? I'm particularly interested if anyone from over the pond can tell me anything about the day when gardens were created in car parking spaces recently.

Thanks to Emma Cooper for bringing this event to my attention in her post yesterday.


  1. Hurrah for The Shrubs - let's hope that Mr Shrub makes the national news headlines tomorrow - unlikely but we can live in hope :) Hope that they go on to produce a good number of little Shrublets.

  2. VP, public planting and maintenance will no doubt be cut even more next year. It is very sad because planting is so relevant to how people feel and next year we may all need a bit of cheering up!

    Keep up the good work, best wishes Sylvia

  3. Thanks for posting about Greening the UK and the Human Shrub at Conservative Party Conference. If you want to follow more updates you can follow us on twitter @greeningtheuk, Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/greeningtheuk or our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Greening-the-UK-Campaign/132911622654.

    Greening the UK

  4. Anna - I haven't spotted him yet, but there's plenty of internet activity...

    Sylvia - that's a good point. At the public space workshop budget cuts were mentioned, but as amenity horticulture has such a minute budget anyway, it was reckoned it wouldn't make that much difference and so cuts might be sought elsewhere. However, I wouldn't be surprised if they're still cut...

    Greening the UK - welcome and I'm only too glad to publicise the cause :)


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