Vanessa Harden is like the ‘Q’ of the guerrilla gardening world. Her designs range from modified shoes that plant seeds to specialized flowerpot-dropping handbags. Surprisingly, those who run our cities don’t look kindly on those seeking to alter the landscape without permission, so Vanessa has integrated clever gardening kit into everyday attire of the urban professional to disguise clandestine gardening activities.
Motherboard meets Vanessa in her South London studio to find out how she got involved in this “underground” scene, and why she feels her own unique brand of eco-technology may help make the metropolises of the world greener places. She shows us firsthand the different techniques and technologies she employs in her designs and what other innovations she has pioneered.
Then we head out into the city to meet guerilla gardener guru Richard Reynolds and discover the fruits of his labor blossoming in grass verges and central conservations throughout London. The two put Vanessa’s designs to use, and discuss how they have been received in the guerilla gardening community.