A friend residing in a futuristic building in the Jisr el Wati area asked us to give a green makeover to his terrace. The idea seemed fun and fitting with Someplace Green’s goal to add drops of green all over Beirut so we went for it (and we're now working on our second terrace : ) ).
We visited the space, with Nadine, the agricultural engineer who takes care of our plants selection and gardening advice and armed with her expert eye we made a plant and layout selection. We created some privacy with large bamboo trees placed in anthracite rectangle pots. Behind the sofa in the seating corner, we let climb the leaves of a fragrant jasmine. We decided to leave as much floor space unoccupied as possible for barbecue gatherings and lined the crisscross railing with a series of sun loving aromatic herbs; rose geranium, verbena, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, chives or sage. Finally, we added a floral colourful touch by the window with easy to maintain geraniums in hues of pink, red and white.
We dug a little bit to get more familiar with the area. Originally an agricultural land, lined with banana and citrus trees, where families would gather by the Beirut river for a picnic or fishing, in the 1920s, the area around Jisr el Wati became rapidly urbanized with the arrival of migrant workers from neighboring countries as well as from rural areas farther from the city and later from Africa and South-East Asia. Warehouses and factories were built fueled by the activity of the nearby Beirut port. The past few years have brought revived interest to the area; alongside abandoned factories and warehouses, disorganized construction and the popular markets Souk el Ahad, where shoes and clothing are sold alongside cosmetics and home items, and Souk el Khodra for vegetables, nearby a polluted and often dried out river, trendy art galleries, workshops, bars and new residential projects are rising breathing in a dynamic vibe to the Jisr el Wati neighborhood. The future of the multifaceted area could take a green turn, with a panoply of eco-friendly projects proposals around the river, while the fate of the existing public spaces remains unknown.