The profusion of roadway ruts left in the wake of the Northeast’s harsh winter weather perturbed many a New Yorker this spring. But, instead of simply swearing and swerving around the holes, Schenectady resident Elaine Santore decided to take action and fill them herself.
This go-getter gal didn’t use asphalt.
She packed at least 10 local potholes with potting soil and—(how farmgirl is this?)—flowers!
Pansies, to be precise.
“I’m not an avid gardener … but I do like to put things in the ground. It’s spring, and I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time,” Santore told Modern Farmer. “You could go down and complain at city hall. You could walk around with a picket and protest. There are other reasons to need to do that, much bigger issues. But something like this is just a simple no-harm way of getting the point across.”
She knew her little gardens wouldn’t last (most have now been restored to blacktop by the city), but she planted them anyway. The point, ultimately, was to move others with a simple gesture of gentleness.
“And I think it worked because people reacted to it,” she said. “I’m touched that people took notice and that I was able to draw attention to something that needs to be addressed in a kind way. With a little ingenuity, you can do something small and make a big difference.”