The Pothole Gardener Gardening for Health Interview
The benefits of gardening are well known - helping you feel happier and healthier while reducing stress and anxiety. But in in the hectic pace of city life, it's hard to find time to indulge in a little gardening release.
Enter Australian gardener and author Steve Wheen aka The Pothole Gardener who has created a sensation in the UK with his urban guerrilla 'pothole" gardening antics where he goes undercover to turn dreary corners of urban streetscapes into unexpected and delightful miniature gardens. His tiny creations use charming little props to help bring smiles to busy city commuters passing by.
Interview with Steve Wheen -The Pothole Gardener'
Question: Why did you decide to bring your miniature pothole gardens to Australia?
Steve Wheen: I'm excited to bring my miniature gardens to Australia as I've been sent some pothole gardens from budding Australian gardeners, and I'm keen to collaborate with some Australian gardeners and see the reaction to the installations. I've created pothole gardens around the world, but never in Australia before.
Question: What inspired the collaboration with Keri Juice?
Steve Wheen: The illustrations on the Keri bottles are whimsical and almost magical. I'm excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with them to bring them to life in a unique way! I hoping they'll make people smile for a moment or two.
Question: Can you tell us about the five Keri Juice Blenders flavours you've based your creations on?
Steve Wheen: I'm creating 5 little gardens based around the illustrations on the labels of each bottle. I'm creating an Orange garden (complete with miniature orange blender), Cloudy apple (with fluffy clouds dripping fresh apple), Carrot and Orange (my favourite! With miniature horses rounding up the fruit) Apple and Beetroot complete with tiny swings) and the Kale, Pear and cucumber.
Collaborating with Keri was a no-brainer really because they are also setting out to inspire simple moments of happiness for people with their juices.
So we are both about creating something that is light-hearted and quirky that might spark an inadvertent smile on your face in an otherwise hectic day.
Question: How can we create our own tiny green happy places at home or work?
Steve Wheen: Think small! Small is beautiful. Succulents are so hardy and a great place to start. Find an area that gets plenty of light and don't be scared to get your fingers dirty!
Question: What originally inspired your passion for gardening?
Steve Wheen: I grew up in Canberra, where everyone had a garden. After living in London in a one bedroom flat with no outdoor space, I took my passion for gardening to the streets. I was working on a project based around happiness, and I wanted to turn something that annoyed people into something happier, and my pothole gardens were born...
Question: What is the relationship between gardening and health? Has gardening reduced your stress?
Steve Wheen: Gardening makes you feel good! It's a great way of keeping active and being outdoors. There's nothing more relaxing than getting out in the gardening and creating something. It's impossible not to be thinking about the future when you're gardening - and I think that's great for your mind.
Interview by Brooke Hunter