Self Employment


I'm a gardener at the sky garden on the top of the Walkie Talkie tower.

I usually do my work at 4am, when things have wound down, I look for discoloured plants, check everything is looking alright, water, replenish soil, replace plants, I also like to read autopsy reports out to the plants. I have a friend in a morgue who supplies me with reports of autopsies performed on people who are usually dead.

I like to read to all the ferns about the methodical dismantling of a large fireman's rib cage, I read to the water lilies about the effortless way the skin on a face slides off of an industrial chemist, I read to the persimmon trees about the way a surgical saw splits a skull open, I tell the jojoba bushes about the tumours discovered in the child's brain.

I tweak the soil with a pitchfork and go to my next job, removing Japanese knotweed from vacant lots, I never usually have a key, the security are never there, so I always have to climb over the wire fences and flaking wooden boards that ring these property investments. As I climb the wall I kick the teeth in of a smiling woman printed over a CGI render of luxury property interiors.

I land in the vacant lot, recessed 10 feet in the ground, around the edges I can only see the tips of illuminated signage, McDonalds, BP, Audi. I look out at the lot and see the bushes playfully swaying and swirling in the wind. Knotweed is the fastest growing weed, its root system explodes through the ground, killing off everything else living, destabilising foundations. I'm scouting the plant, measuring it's root depth, figuring out how much work it needs, herbicides, concrete slabs, steam injection, aphids, fungus, excavation, ignition.

I always take a sample of the plant for analysis, to see what strain it is, as well as for ensuring financial stability. This vacant lot got Japanese knotweed invasion because I planted a sample from my previous job removing knotweed at the Olympic Park, which in turn got knotweed from a job I did at King's Cross.

I make my own economy. And so should you.