Steve Wheen understands that nobody likes to pay a pile of taxes only to hit potholes on their way to work every day, so he started filling up the pesky cracks in East London with mini living worlds comprised of soil, plants, and adorable props. The guerrilla gardener creates these mini (mostly domestic) scenes on quiet streets, dead end lanes, and foot paths, snaps photographs of his work, and then removes the props so that nobody gets a chair in their tire! When he’s satisfied with his projects, he documents them over at The Pothole Gardener.
Wheen explains on his blog that he has “never claimed to be the first Guerrilla Gardener, or even the first pothole gardener for that matter” and points to similar projects on the Guerrilla Gardening website. According to him, the first example of pothole gardening dates back to an American school group, but his mini worlds are definitely worth writing home about.
Wheen started pothole gardening during his university years partly to create art, partly as a labor of love, and also to highlight how “sh#t” East London’s roads are”, he writes. Some of our favorite examples of his work include the cricket match scene and the iconic red telephone booth that fills up a pothole in front of London Bridge. The idea behind these mini living worlds is to put a smile on the faces of people who drive by them, and it definitely worked for us.