What the? Flowers in the road! Image via PeteDungey.com.
Look: pothole gardens! Not sure how I missed this unique guerrilla gardening/art concept when it first popped up on the interwebs several years ago, but it’s awesome.
It seems people plant potholes for various reasons. UK artist Pete Dungey planted a series of potholes across England to highlight “the problem of surface imperfections on Britain’s roads.” A group of California College of the Arts students greened a San Francisco intersection to provoke discussion around the “road-centricity of our urban setting.”
A sweet little pothole garden by Steve Wheen at ThePotholeGardener.com. Photo by Allison Moore.
Steve at ThePotholeGardener.com started potting up potholes to highlight the problem of bad local road conditions, and, as a landless gardener, to satisfy his urge to plant.
Planting a pothole. Photo by Allison Moore.
Marigolds bloom in Shannon Spanhake’s Garden of Convergence.
Shannon Spanhake created a project called The Garden of Convergence in Tijuana, inviting the community to take part. In an interview, she relates that “the most interesting response [from the community] has been the way vehicles carefully avoid this space, as if the lines on the street have changed – they turn slowly and the passengers peak their heads out to see what it is. And how when pedestrians walk past, they stop to look and ask each other questions. The pothole really changes how people move through the space and their actions while in it.”
Pothole gardeners recognize that their work is fleeting – even more so than most guerrilla gardens, which are often temporary. And while I would worry that planting in the middle of the road would cause serious driver distraction, pothole gardeners have a technique for that, too. They plant bright flowers, which act as a hazard sign, alerting drivers to the potholes.
Noodles and Waffles says
I’m afraid my town would look like a botanical gardens if every pothole was filled with a beautiful flower.
I have to do this! I love the idea, it’s like robin hood. Drawing attention to the “holes” in the establishment!
This is PERFECT for the Chicago area. We must be the pothole capitol of the world!
What a novel idea. I saw something on this a few weeks back. It takes a serious passion to take to the roads like that.
Oh, THIS is awesome.
I’m so glad you posted this, what a beautiful way to bring attention to potholes (and avoid yet another flat tire).
Andrea Bellamy says
Noodles and Waffles – and that’s a bad thing? ;)
Jeff – exactly! It’s resistance from the ground up – literally!
Laurie – I think there are quite a few places that would fight for that title ;)
Laura – it’s great, isn’t it? I admire the courage of those who plant in oncoming traffic.
Tzipporah – I love it, too!
Lorraine – I agree!
Garden Girl says
This so fantastic! I love it!! Victoria always has potholes ’round the place and I know the perfect guy to tackle Langford. :)
bit of green says
That’s absolutely charming!
Although I must admit that I’m afraid where I live the flowers would get soon run over…