Clandestine Bed-flowers, a Sonia Arienta's project, playwriting in urban space. Fringe theatre, Milan

Among all the GREEN CHARACTERS I met in my urban walks through the streets of Milan, the first that attracted my attention were the HERBS that

Are born,




They make their way into a very narrow and particular housing:

the holes left by the poles supporting the road signs.

They are essentially CANNED HERBS

unauthorized and self-installing MICROGARDENS dotting some sidewalks.

I called them with a more poetic and assaulting name:

CLANDESTINE BED FLOWERS, familiarly abbreviated in


In a primitive phase, I started photographing these strange flower beds without yet knowing how I could organize and represent their stories.

I just knew they interested me and I wanted to learn more about them.

I did not mark in which streets they were established, nor the period in which I had found them. I was just fascinated by the variety of forms, composition, the coexistence of the different plans, by their precariousness, by the contrast between the geometry of the “container” and the chaotic initiative of the ” content”. All condensed into very few centimetres…

Clandestine Bed-flowers, a Sonia Arienta's project, playwriting in urban space. Fringe theatre, Milan

I discovered that the flower beds have various sizes, they are small and very small … circular in shape, more rarely square … or completely irregular, due to the torsion of the metal base of the tube in which they are housed.

In the beginning, I went hunting in random order…

I soon realized that a more scrupulous work of “data recording” was necessary, in order to find and map these small GREEN spaces, to follow their evolution over time, make comparisons and to catalogue them following seasonal variations, weather factors.

So I started to mark the locations and time references of the different visits (day, month, year). I concentrated on the easier to reach CLANDESTINE BED FLOWERS: those in the area where I live. This guarantees constant monitoring over time.

In a later phase, I widen the search to distant and different areas, depending on the encounters occurring in a completely fortuitous way. I thus verified that these GREEN CHARACTERS are very numerous throughout the city.

Would you like to know

where are these wonders concentrated and thrive?

Where did I find them and where could you find them?

You will find the answer to these and other questions in the next posts!

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