I visited Warsaw university library rooftop garden at the beginning of the greening and this week I went back to see how spring is progressing there. I want to see the coloured gardens on the roof as they blossom into green, silver, purple and gold. I walk through the university building, past coffee shops, bookshops and a series of very moving photographs of refugees as they arrive in Greece, and journey on to processing in Germany.
The mounds sheltering pathways to the rooftop have greened and flowered since my last visit and the lower garden is a lot busier. It is a magnificently warm day and there are people sunning themselves on the grass, or in the case of one aging bare-chested man cavorting in what were surely his underpants. Everywhere are banners and signs saying “Two centuries: a good start”. Warsaw university not the oldest university in Poland: Kraków university where Copernicus studied is much older.
I walk up the steps towards the dome, twiggy when I visited last and now thick with vegetation, as are the archways. A man is weeding, one of a number of gardeners busy pruning hedges and chipping. Reflections and a glimpse into the library are irresistible.
Then I’m amongst the rooftop gardens, still not in their prime, but obviously color-coded. The glass and metal structures and the view over the town offer their own pleasures. A bored looking bride and a mobile-phone-tapping groom are waiting for the photographer, and a crow perches proprietorally on a highly polished granite sculpture, supervising my departure.
Footnote: on the walk home from pre-school there is a garden on the roof of an apartment block. Jaś is outraged and yells at it every time: “You silly. Gardens not belong on roofs.”