Seeds From Stolen Ground

        In spring 2019, I was frequently visiting a large new housing development on the edge of the town where I live to take photographs and make recordings to try and make some art about what was happening. I would take, well, anything that looked like it was genuinely thrown away; so lots of building waste as well as litter. It was a dry summer, and fragments of plastic and polythene lay everywhere between vegetation that grew so fast it was like it knew this was its last chance.
        I was really quite disgusted at the way the land was being treated by the developers. Parish boundaries had been moved to circumnavigate objections from local people and a report that said no more housing was necessary, and now this bit of land belonged to another, smaller village at least a mile away, which better fitted requirements to build tightly-packed, substandard and over-priced houses.
        So I formulated a plan to save some of the land from being squashed beneath houses. Not much land, just enough for a relic. I didn't want to ask permission because I didn't want anything to do with the developers, and I'd got used to being an observer wandering the new pavements and staring at machinery, day-glo builders and piles of supplies. Though I didn't want to handle the ground via anything to do with the developers, as this would taint me too, I did think just turning up with a trowel and bag might raise a few eyebrows, so I wore my cycle hi-vis and helmet, and took a clipboard. That made me blend in well enough and nobody disturbed me while I knelt on the pavement and nicked several trowels worth of damp clay soil. I had no idea what would grow but I hoped some of the wild plants that had colonised the ground in its short burst of freedom would come again in my garden.

        This white clover is one of the plants that germinated. I still have a huge dock and there are two elder tree plants that have also survived that I don't quite know what to do with.
        The clover lived until last summer, 2021, when I mistakenly decided it had been cooped up in its pot for too long and planted it in the border. It got weeded out by another, which was well meant, but a rather tragic end and I will miss it this year.