Today, many contemporary artists and creative problem-solvers strive to come up with inventive solutions to aesthetic problems. In addition to broken artifacts and forgotten everyday objects, works enhanced by these imaginative individuals include public spaces and streets—namely, those plagued with neglected potholes. In a unique twist on ephemeral art, people have begun transforming the unsightly cracks and holes into beautiful, miniature gardens.
To create each piece of flower protest art, the ‘guerrilla gardeners’ first fill the holes with soil. They then transplant colorful flowers like daffodils and violets into the makeshift planters. As a result of their efforts, the streets are aesthetically enhanced. Additionally, the presence and prevalence of the potholes are accentuated, prompting passing pedestrians, drivers, and, hopefully, city officials, to take notice.
Pothole flowers have been popping up in cities around the world, from Chicago to London. Though many people are on-board with the movement, some are concerned that the distracting pieces of public art may be dangerous to drivers. Still, as one anonymous individual notes, the unfilled potholes themselves also pose a threat. “Potholes are a real problem and have the potential to be death traps for bikers and cyclists and with cars there is an issue with blow-outs to wheels.”
Given their positioning, the tiny gardens don’t last long. Though their existence is fleeting, the people behind the protest believe that, however temporary, the miniature installations are serving their plant-y purpose and, ultimately, serving the public.