Grow! at Selfridges
by Rhiannon James
Kabloom’s Seedboms are part of the Guerrilla Gardening display in Selfridges’ windows
Spring is in the air and right on cue, a pop-up gardening shop is opening in Selfridges this week.
Grow!, which opens on 1st April, will stock a whole range of products for urban gardens. Meanwhile, displays around the store will celebrate the ingenuity and resourcefulness of guerrilla gardeners, who make it their mission to transform barren public spaces with plants.
Linda Hewson, Selfridges’ Head of Creative said, “Our aim with Grow! is to inspire people to embrace unexpected ways to garden – even in the absence of a garden. Be it using a gardening grenade or a hanging potted plant with next to no maintenance involved in nurturing it, I think people will be surprised at how easy it can be to be green-fingered when living in the city.”
The shop will stock everything from traditional tools to innovative products designed to tackle the challenges of gardening in the city. Az&mut’s Cavalier plant pots slot on to railings to help squeeze more growing space out of balconies and staircases while BOSKKE Sky Planters suspend plants from the ceiling indoors. Or for a take on the wearable plants trend, there’s HAF by Hafsteinn Juliusson Growing Jewellery – miniature gardens set into silver rings.
Meanwhile, five of Selfridges’ windows are showcasing the creative contraptions used by guerrilla gardeners. Richard Reynolds, founder of GuerrillaGardening.org, who curated the collection said, “One of our aims was to raise awareness of guerrilla gardening, particularly amongst people who might not have come across it before. This was an opportunity to show the idea of gardening in a more unconventional way to people while they were out and about shopping. ”
Some of the guerrilla gardening weaponry on display, such as Mr Reynolds’ custom-made trailers, built out of old bikes and shopping trolleys, are working examples on loan. Designer, Vanessa Harden has however created a concept called Umbrella Dispersal Unit especially for the windows. Her idea is that a guerrilla gardener could surreptitiously sow seeds in public spaces by shooting them out of the top of an umbrella.
The design is the latest in a series of concepts Ms Harden has designed for guerrilla gardeners, all of which will be on display inside Selfridges. She said, “It’s about coming up with designs that fit with fashion but that also fit into our daily lives. For example there’s a shoe which allows you to walk to work, say, and sow seeds at the same time. It’s also very discreet because I’m playing off the idea that you don’t necessarily want to walk around the place advertising that you’re guerrilla gardening.” There’s also a camera which fires seeds and an augur concealed in a briefcase amongst the James Bond-style gadgetry on show. Other designs have been inspired by the Victorian era, such as walking sticks which hold and sow Ms Harden’s seed pills – seeds and soil encased in a plant-based coating which dissolves in the rain.
Ms Harden’s seed pills and seed pill boxes will be on sale at Grow!, along with Kabloom’s Seedboms, which are soil and seeds encased in recycled materials, and GuerrillaGardening.org’s London Lavender Pillows which are made using lavender planted and harvested in South London.
Grow! and “GuerrillaGardening.org presents” Wonder Windows will be at Selfridges until the end of April.