Diesel Island Field Trip

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.

Deiesel Island GG Workshop

Deiesel Island GG Workshop

Deiesel Island GG Workshop

Selfridges Concept Store

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.

Concept Store Cabinets

Concept Store


The Horticulturalist

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.

The Horticulturalist: The Chatelaine

The Horticulturalist: The Pill Box

The Horticulturalist: The Walking Stick

The Horticulturalist: The Pistol

Workshop at Thorpedene Junior School

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!

Seedpill Workshop @ Thorpedene Junior School

Seedpill Workshop @ Thorpedene Junior School

\Seedpill Workshop @ Thorpedene Junior School

The Union Street Urban Orchard

This summer, the site of 100 Union Street in SE1 has been transformed into The Urban Orchard by The Architecture FoundationBankside Open Spaces TrustProjectARKs 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).

The Urban Orchard

The Urban Orchard

The Urban Orchard

International Guerrilla Sunflower Gardening Day

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.

Pre-International Guerrilla Sunflower Gardening Day

Vanessa Harden and Samantha Varney decided to make flyers to hand out to people at the march on May 1st. They made paper embedded with sunflower seeds, and then stenciled the name of the event with food colouring.  Our aim was to hand out flyers on the day to promote the event.  If individuals chose to take the flyer and go to the website, great! But if they dropped or discarded the flyer on the ground, they would be unknowingly planting sunflowers to beautify the city!

Seed Pills @ fuorisalone Milano 2010

While showing “The Subversive Gardener” at fuorisalone Milano 2010, Vanessa decided to do a bit of guerrilla gardening.  Across the street from her exhibition, she planted some flowers and some seed pills.  If you happen to walk by Via Thaon de Revel in Milan, and see some flowers in unusual places, you’ll know a guerrilla gardener has been around.


…and after

9 days later

Here are a couple of pictures of our targets 9 days later.  You’ll notice that the pills seem to be sprouting nicely, however the seedbombs seem to still be in tact without any sign of growth.  Some of our targets have had some massive changes, like construction crews who have completely destroyed out little test sites.  Other spots have had zero progress, as we were unable to find the pills or bombs that we left there…strange.

The Route

This is a map of our route and targets for the “Seed Pill March.” This map was compiled by Sam.

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