London Pothole Gardener Takes Back The Cracks

© Stephanie Wolff/the pothole gardener

When TreeHugger profiled Pete Dungey, an artist making miniature gardens in the cracks in Oxford's roads, we wrote that he "works alone, but hopes that others will follow his lead." Turns out a fellow Brit has been treading the same ground all along, adding an extra dose of whimsy to the already adorable little patches of green.

Dungey's counterpart, Londoner Steve Wheen, "fills potholes in roads and sidewalks with soil and living plants, decorating the spaces with miniature props to create tiny worlds," according to the European design site designboom.

© Steve Wheen/the pothole gardener

Like many other guerrilla gardeners who have come before him, this pothole gardener says he was inspired by the lack of green space in his neighborhood and a frustrated desire to garden.

Drawing Smiles And Creating Community
With their teeny-tiny chairs, tennis courts, laundry lines, and picnic blankets, these are "green spaces" only a small doll could actually utilize, but Wheen, an avid cyclist, hopes they will put a smile on the faces of passers-by and "highlight how crap our roads and footpaths are."

© Steve Wheen/the pothole gardener
A pothole garden with a tiny road and street sign warning about potholes.

Wheen cheerfully documents his guerrilla gardening exploits on his blog, where he also gives shouts-out to like-minded urban interventionists. Commenting on his work, a pedestrian advocacy group writes: "To us, the pothole gardener represents the kind of thing Living Streets wants to see more of -- small and beautiful things that make people take a moment out of their busy day to smile and appreciate their community."

Tags: Cities | Gardening | London | Urban Life

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