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Log Pots

Part of a series of photos and texts that was published as The Good Life in 2014.

Continuing the theme of ‘useful things to do with old trees’, this picture was taken in Chandigarh on what seemed to be public land, on the road which leads to Le Corbusier’s Secretariat building. Indians are well known for their ingenious re-use of materials that might seem useless to the rest of us. In this case it’s the startling originality of the idea which is striking. Who would have imagined, looking at a recently cut-down tree, making three flower pots from it? And if the roadside garden is public space, how was the commission of these masterpieces briefed and to whom? In a land where this level of creativity is easily matched by that of bureaucracy, we can speculate that the order was passed down through a series of officials until it reached the urban planning office, where a young planner with an interest in gardening had the idea on his way home one evening. The best ideas are usually spontaneous.