African crackerjack marigolds grown from seed pills are thriving – can’t wait for them to bloom!
Spring is here and new seed pills are being tested. Already you can see the mustard is doing very well. If you have a closer look, you can also see some poppies and marigolds sprouting as well! Happy Spring!
The Victoria and Albert Friday Late Design investigates the collective imagination of visitors, opening up the design practice from a closed off, single vision to group creativity and cooperative working. Create prototypes, engage with the redesign of failed projects, test your ingenuity and make your own music.
Vanessa introduces the art of guerrilla gardening and the various illicit tools created to help integrate gardening ‘assaults’ into everyday life. She discusses the design process behind her products as well as demonstrates new pieces inspired directly by the Clore Discovery Area at the V&A. Workshops were held throughout the weekend teaching participants about the use of seed pills as well as how to make them.
As part of their Spring/Summer 2011 campaign “The Diesel School of Island Life,” Diesel offered a series of lessons, field trips, screenings and parties featuring industry experts and pioneers from creative and cultural fields. Vanessa was asked to conduct a guerrilla gardening field trip teaching participants how to grow an urban island veggie patch, create tools from familiar everyday objects and of course how to make Seed Pills.
As part of the spring 2011 theme GROW, Selfridges commissioned pieces for their 8 cabinets located in the Concept Store. In addition to displaying the commissioned work (The Horticulturalist series and The Subversive Gardener series), packets of Seed Pills containing carefully selected seeds for seasonal sowing as well as pillboxes and snuff boxes were available for purchase.
Inspired by the Victorian era and based on the seedpill, The Horticulturalist is a collection of artefacts uses the aesthetic of the 19th century to imagine a past with guerrilla gardeners. How would the Victorians have masked the illicit sowing of seeds? Had it been as underground then as it is today, guerrilla gardener would have needed secret ways of distributing plants and flowers. This family of products investigates the accessories worn by men and women and transforms these into clandestine gardening tools.
Vanessa had the opportunity to conduct a guerrilla gardening workshop at Thorpedene Junior School in Thorpe Bay, Essex. The children were lead through the various steps involved in making their own Seed Pills. They were then told to “secretly” drop the pills in neglected areas in and around their neighbourhood the following spring!
This summer, the site of 100 Union Street in SE1 has been transformed into The Urban Orchard by The Architecture Foundation, Bankside Open Spaces Trust, ProjectARKs and the Wayward Plant Registry. This urban orchard and community garden is the home to the LivingARK, a zero-carbon pod which is inhabited during the period of the project to showcase sustainable ways of living; The Nest, a pavilion created by the Finnish Institute; and a skip turned table tennis table created by Oliver Bishop-Young.
Heather Ring, director and head designer of the orchard asked me to contribute by displaying the Seed Pill project. Vanessa had the pleasure of spending Sunday July 4th conducting seed bomb workshops with fellow guerrilla gardeners Richard Reynolds (founder of guerrillagardening.org) and Darren Wilson (inventor of Kabloom seedbombs).
May 1st was a beautiful day! We handed out flyers embedded with seeds, planted seeds and encountered the MI5 police (we were planting too close to MI5 headquarters). By the end, we found ourselves at Blackfriars seeding Andrew Haining’s local guerrilla garden.