Ever see a shopping cart piled high with plants? How about a greenhouse on the back of a pickup truck? No, then perhaps a flatbed garden on wheels? Or at the extreme of eco-strange: how about a typical mobile-home trailer that folds out into an entirely fake green garden – the ultimate portable kitsch patio? Portable gardens may sound like a contradiction in terms, but these concepts prove they’re possible (and gorgeous).
Growing on the go, these gardening concepts are all works in progress – some have been realized while others are still (in some cases far-fetched) ideas for a greener future. This art piece by Kevin Van Braack, for instance, leaves some, well, ‘real green’ to be desired – for now at least.
“Mr Van Braak, from Amsterdam, bought a 1976 Constructam Caravan, stripped out the inside and cut it in half so it would open flat to reveal a grassed area capable of seating 15 people. He said: ‘My caravan appears to be no different from any other caravan when it is pulled behind a car but when opened it manifests itself as an artificial garden, park or camping sight.'”
Spotted on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, these strange green machines are (pardon the pun) sprouting up left and right – miniature, self-contained and street-safe greenhouses fitted to the backs of a typical truck.
Taking it a step further, Joseph Baldwin has proposed to plant wildflowers and prairie grasses on flat train-car platforms to be towed behind urban mass transit vehicles for the benefit of a broader public audience.
A more eco-friendly option presented by Annechien Meier involves an energy-free community garden made up of a wooden platform on rubber wheels that can be towed manually and parked anywhere. “My art project ‘the mobile allotment’ plays with the boundaries of public space. My mobile garden can temporarily occupy spaces that do not ordinarily have a green function: a footpath, square, pavement, motorway, etc. As such, it temporarily changes the public area’s original zoning making it less static. While temporary, this does have the purpose of calling attention to the importance of more permanent allotments in The Hague and other cities.”
The S.O.S. variant on this mobile-themed, go-green port-o-gardening subject is perhaps a bit more sustainable than the rest – if sillier. Instead of tying the greenery (literally and metaphorically) to symbols of industrialization (in the form of fuel-powered vehicles) the idea takes the ever-available abandoned shopping carts of any city and turns them into food-producing miniature gardens-to-go.