Being a gardener I know a few things about building. I know a patio is built on hardcore and sharp sand. I know a pergola is built on 300mm concrete blocks. And I know that life is built on broken dreams. Dreams of plants unflowered, dreams of crops that never grew, and most hauntingly, dreams of the open sea.
Like most young men I grew up longing to be a pirate. To race around The Spanish Main, cursing and drinking and loosing thunderous broadsides, is there any better way to live? I spent long hours at university practicing my swigging, my spitting and my swashbuckling, all in preparation for the day when I would take up my graduate position as a Scurvy Nave. But it was not to be, man chooses not his fate and I was powerless to resist the call of the garden. So it is that I have spent these past years leaning on my spade and watching as friend after friend pierces his ear, ties his bandanna and embarks for a life of rape and pillage under hot Caribbean sun.
So thank god that after over 6000 years of civilisation someone has finally designed a sea worthy garden. At last the average Joe Horticulture can chase death, doubloons and dusky maidens across the Seven Seas, and not loose his tender annuals to salt spray. I give you the work of Vincent Callebaut and his magnificent floating garden – Physalia.
A collision between a whale, a jellyfish and a fertile architectural imagination, ladies and gentlemen, this is the future.
Physalia will travel around the waterways of Europe with a cargo of scientists busily cleaning H20 and researching in a carbon neutral manner.
An exceptionally interesting and eccentric thinker Callebaut has also designed floating cities for climate change refugees and a metabolic farm for urban agriculture in the shape of a butterfly. In his touring botanical garden there will be four main plating areas; Earth, Air, Water and Fire.
Let Callebaut be our catalyst and take to the oceans! Come ye, you alotmenteers and flower heads, you rakers and pruners! You are free gardeners, and you have as much authority to make war on the whole world, as he who has a hundred sail of ships at sea and an army of 100,000 men. We shall grow fat on the blood of the rich while our fruits grow plump in Physalia’s hold and the waterways of Europe become cleaner and cleaner. For me the world has won back a bit of its magic.