Potholes may be blights on the road and pavements, but The Pothole Gardener Steve Wheen sees the beauty in them by filling them with what should really be there – nature.
One of a growing number of people taking part in guerrilla gardening, whereby green fingered-enthusiasts go “undercover” to turn hidden spots of cities into mini gardens, Steve Wheen has been brightening up the cracks and holes in London’s pavements and roads since 2012.
Adding a bit of greenery and blooms to what are otherwise hazardous spots, The Pothole Gardener’s uses a lot of miniature props to create these mini gardens to encourage passers-by to connect with nature and to inspire them.
Steve Wheen started The Pothole Gardener when he was doing his MA in Design at Central Saint Martins, and was working on a project around happiness. Potholes became his canvas, as Steve Wheen explains: “The Pothole Gardener project is all about creating unexpected moments of happiness. My little gardens are a respite from the greyness of London.”
The mini gardens have appeared across the capital including Brick Lane, Southbank, Brixton and Chelsea, among other places.
In spite of moving to London years ago, the Australian-born Pothole Gardener and designer has yet to get his head round the lack of space in London, as far as gardens are concerned. Many people in London live in homes without gardens. In an interview with Metro, Steve Wheen said: “I’m Australian, gardening is in my DNA,’ Steve told us. ‘Where I’m from, everyone has a garden, and indeed space.”
The Pothole Gardener has inspired people all over the world to create their own pothole gardens. He has since created a dedicated page on his blog to some of his favourite mini gardens that people have submitted.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea