Summer 2018. Rob & The Plants were commissioned to design and maintain a working pop-up allotment on the lawns of the Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road for Bourne & Hollingsworth. An acre site with over 1000 edible plants, our team were responsible for site layout, plant sourcing (grown on to maturity), planting plan and artistic installations including a bathtub fountain and a flower filled ‘rust in peace’ car. From the initial consultation to delivery was a brief 6 week period.
The challenges of raising a garden in 3 days should be obvious to even the most novice of plant people. We wanted to create a space that felt like an authentic allotment – productive and peaceful. Not to mention personal, as if the original inhabitants of the Geffrye alms houses forwent their stately lawn and got growing. Most important was to have people able to sit or relax in amongst the plants; immersed in the experience of a grow-your-own space, not just witnessing it from a distance or as a quirky add on. In London its easy to forget that this process is actually the centre of our world. It was important also to involve as many people from the growing community as we could; we were fortunate that OrganicLea London’s largest growing cooperative agreed to provide their plants including several heritage tomato varieties and we have two of their graduates maintaining the site. We also approached Lend and Tend, an outfit that connects growers sick of allotment waiting lists with people who have empty spaces, and offered out part of the allotment to anybody keen to dip their toe in the muddy waters of plant growing.