Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bratislava's Planter Boxes Update!

Some of you may remember my rant about Bratislava being overrun with empty concrete planter boxes. I wanted to believe that buried deep inside each box are some kind of slimy alien larvae, lying dormant and waiting patiently for central command to order them to simultaneously spring from the planters and overtake the city by waging a psychic war and melting our brains. The larvae, of course, are so toxic that only weeds and half-dead juniper can grow in the planter boxes. I may have to rework that hypothesis, because a couple weeks ago I noticed that somebody has planted several types of small, colorful flowers in the stretch of concrete planter boxes along Kamenne Namestie on the Spitalksa street side, by Tesco/My Bratislava. Similar types of flowers have also been planted in a row of concrete planters right across the street, in front of the Manderla building.

However, many of the planters in the city still look like this:

I hope that these flowers will fill out and grow more, because at this point they don't really stand out among the large, boxy, concrete containers they've been planted in. You don't really notice the flowers so much unless you're standing really close to them.

Of course, this raises the question, why not plant something in these boxes that will last for a longer period of time throughout the year? (Something other than juniper, of course). These planters were already barren last fall, so it seems like they are empty for at least 6-7 months out of the year. That raises a second question: if the planters are sitting there empty for more than half the year, then what's the point?

I'm kind of thinking they should remove all of the boxes (since they're an eyesore, especially when left empty all year), dig out some holes in the sidewalks, and just go crazy planting more trees. Throughout the past month, Bratislava has transformed into a lush explosion of green, as all of the deciduous trees have become full and leafy again. Just as I was getting used to the city being cold and grey, it suddenly became quite warm and colorful. Some streets and public squares are now shaded by a dense canopy of green! And the greenery helps balance out the city's concrete greyness (a greyness that's exacerbated by all the concrete planter boxes!).

Hviezdoslavovo Namestie in Spring. 

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