The Pothole Gardener


Vincas around my own tree this summer

Leave it to the Brits. Anything we can do, they can do quirkier.

Take guerrilla gardening—the semi-legal practice of planting seeds and flowers in vacant lots that belong to somebody else. We have a guerrilla gardener in my New Jersey town. He strikes under cover of night, leaving miniature gardens in the little plots of dirt around sidewalk trees. For months this summer, his activities were a topic of conversation among the neighbors. Who was the mystery gardener planting flowers up and down the street?

I immediately loved the concept, and I don’t mean to diss the local talent—but you expect to find flowers planted around trees. In London, guerrilla gardener Steve Wheen tackles entirely unexpected locations—namely, potholes. With a wacky English sense of humor, he fills gaps in roads and sidewalks with moss and miniature plants that stick up right out of the pavement. Then for good measure, he adds props to create scenes, from a tiny lawn-tennis court (complete with lawnmower) to a mini version of the royal wedding.

But you have to see his whimsical creations to understand just how wonderful they are, and his YouTube videos are the easiest way to observe him in action. East London Uncovered shows him discussing his creative process. Holes of Happiness shows East Enders in London stumbling across his marvelous creations—even a squirrel doing a double take. Check this one out.

Related link: Guerrilla Gardening

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One Response to The Pothole Gardener

  1. emily h. says:

    Guerrilla gardening is an amazing concept. I especially love its aspect that you have hinted on your article – by engaging in guerrilla gardening, you can easily brighten up your community and feel the thrill of doing it secretly in the night at the same time. Neighbours talk about it, people learn to walk around with their eyes open and appreciate all the beauty in what used to be blank spots.

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