KK33 Budapest – community in a historic garden | Hungary| 2008-2013
When my son was born, we moved to live in a hundred-year-old Art Nouveau building in Budapest. All of a sudden, I got the chance to work in a big community garden. It was our garden, with huge trees going beyond the roof, high beyond the city. With an old fig tree, bushy, its branches like human arms and legs spreading around the deep purple irises.
I was the one in charge of the redesign, after decades of devastation, the reborn of this garden. Without previous experience but using my skills as an economist by training, I applied for financial support to the local government. With the help of garden architects, a historic metal work restaurateur and with professional gardeners we removed the discard of the last seventy years of war, revolution, and the indolence of the years of socialism and restored the beauty of a hidden historic garden in the heart of an old city.
I found myself learning the names of the flowers, listening to their needs, what they do and do not like. I had to work with dirt, soil, water. With life and death. I got a lot from this beautiful place. This garden thought me a lot about time, rhythm, about my inner world and a lot about my creating power.
The garden project also served to build a community in between the people of the old houses. Artists, pensioners, families with small children started to use the garden, to meet, to talk, to organize neighbor events.