Trickle Gardens
Ross Gibson

A discovery-app discovering and celebrating special eco-systems nestled in Sydney’s public space

Low-budget, lightly installed and crowd-sourced, this project uses a smart-phone app to grow an online ‘finder’s guide’ that showcases Sydney’s
trickle gardens and leads Sydney-siders on treks to appreciate them.

Trickle gardens are peculiar, delicate features of Sydney’s ecology, growing where seep-water is gravity-fed on sandstone cuttings or old masonry walls.

There you will find fig-tree bonsai impossibly perched, or maidenhair ferns quivering in convection zephyrs, mosses and lichen verdant and lambent, intimate soundscapes in cool aromatic seclusion.

Self-planting and self-sustaining, sometimes trickle gardens are enormous, sometimes tiny; always they are marvellous. They need nothing from us, except that we discover and celebrate them. The quest to find and share them can draw you out all over town.

For the ‘Public Space Ideas’ competition, the ‘Trickle Gardens’ project entices people to take exercise in public space (a better life for Sydneysiders). Gently spotlighting and re-framing what already exists around us (delivering a great public space) the project offers a simple and startling new way (a transformational idea) to see the wonder in Sydney’s environment.

How does the project work? It stimulates Sydney-siders to upload geo-located photos, words, movies and sound recordings that evoke every trickle garden they discover. Tagged to a google-map, this ever-burgeoning online gallery is a map that guides explorers to exquisite, everyday Sydney spaces, to these trickle gardens that are often so private yet also freely public and generously spread across the city, these delicate spaces waiting to bloom in public consciousness.

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