Still a little bemused by it all, he explained how Pot Hole Gardening grew! “Part of our University project was ‘Subvert the Familiar’, where we had to attract attention to something you would normally not notice, or even avoid,” he explains. “I was struggling to find an idea and was running out of time so it also had to be something that could be done quickly. I do a lot of lengthy bike rides, cycling from Brighton to Paris and Brighton to Zürich to raise money for a Prostate Cancer Charity and was aware of the increasing number of pot holes appearing in the roads and thought I could use them to create Pot Hole gardens. I started in the smaller streets around Oxford and then around Brighton. Each morning I would just go to a local garden centre or DIY store and buy a couple of bags of compost and the most colourful plants they had. It was all done during the daytime and a lot of pedestrians and motorists stopped to see what I was doing. I didn’t get any negative response at all, just a lot of encouragement,” he grins. “Some of the Pot Hole gardens have been featured on the cover of magazines in New York and even Australia.”
“No, there isn’t any maintenance,” he laughs when asked, “they weren’t intended to last long; some lasted a couple of days and some just a few minutes but they put a smile on people’s faces. The most memorable quote was from the post lady on her round, who said, “If we planted one of these gardens in every hole, it would be like having a forest in the road!”
“My parents are keen gardeners but I only do a bit now and then; gardens aren’t really a priority in student accommodation he adds good humouredly. “Though Alan Titchmarsh also features in another of my projects, Alan Keys.”
But it seems the pen will be mightier than the spade for Pete as he chooses Graphic design over Garden design. “Like all graduates, I’m currently looking for a placement or internship,” he admits, “I’d really like to work abroad; hopefully this will be a bloomin’ good start!”
Enjoy more of Pete’s work at www.petedungey.com.