We’re a collective of designers, urban growers and would-be alchemists, keen to transform neglected spaces into community gardens.
Creative Director / Designer: Heather Ring
Construction Lead / Designer: Thomas Kendall
Executive Producer: Stephen Escritt, Publica
Planting Lead: Jarred Henderson, London Harvest
Cafe partner: Abi Siri Andersen, Rambling Restaurant
Writer-in-residence: Helen Babbs
Volunteer & Events Coordinator: Rachel Mikulsky
Production support: Lucy Tauber
Graphic designer: Lizzie Frost
Web site designer: Sian Jones
Illustrators: Alison Moffett and Owen Pomery
Photographer: Mike Massaro
About WAYWARD PLANTS
Whether common weeds, domestic breeds or rare botanical specimens, wayward plants are truly in the eye of the beholder. The Wayward Plant Registry sets up halfway homes, adoption events and ever-evolving community gardens for unwanted plants, bringing together people and plants through spaces and stories. Wayward Plants was established in 2006 as an open collective of designers, artists, urban growers and guerrilla gardeners committed to developing imaginative projects that explore social engagement and ecological narratives. Wayward Plants develops temporary public gardens and community exchanges for unwanted plants, and focuses on advocating for meanwhile uses for underutilised land and interim spaces.
Since its inception its projects have been included in exhibitions the Barbican London, the Canadian Centre for Architecture Montreal and the Graham Foundation Chicago and the Metis International Garden Festival in Quebec. In 2010 Wayward Plants was commissioned by The Architecture Foundation to design and produce the Union Street Urban Orchard for the London Festival of Architecture, transforming a derelict site into a productive community garden made entirely of recycled materials and built by over 100 volunteers. We are excited to be back on Union Street, giving one derelict site a new interpretation and creative life, and demonstrating the imaginative potential that all forgotten spaces could possess.
About RAMBLING RESTAURANT
A trio of food adventurists who love to eat, cook, experiment and share dishes from around the world. To date we have fed 1718 people in 25 unusual places. Some of our finest moments include serving jelly to revellers through a letter box on Oxford Street; feasting on wild rabbit and meringue swans with poetry slammers; turning an office in Soho into the Moulin Rouge cabaret and dining under railways archways to improvisational theatre. We really care about where our food comes from and hate waste. We source sustainably and always cook with love! The Rambling Restaurant is no stranger to adapting to weird and wonderful locations. In our new herbal habitat, the cafe will be an ever-changing, edible representation of the garden: from specially crafted lunch menus, to herb tasting workshops and growing our own herb kitchen. In keeping with the medicinal theme we will play hospital cafeteria to the various plant ‘wards’. Our menu will include culinary treat[ment]s, teas and tonics.
Above and beyond food matters alone we see ourselves as site ambassadors which means caring for plants, volunteers and visitors alike, as well as promoting the project outside of the garden. We would like to educate people on forgotten plant varieties and cooking with herbs by giving culinary tours of the garden, handing out recipe cards or simply by feeding people! As an organic part of this temporary ecosystem we will use wormeries, compost and recycle wherever possible. Food is one of the most democratic ways of bringing people together and this is what makes the Rambling Restaurant so enjoyable. We would like to bring this cohesive social element to the Urban Physic Garden through the magic of food.
About LIVING MEDICINE
Living Medicine aims to reskill us all in using food and herbs for health. We bring people of all cultures together to share and exchange traditional knowledge, validate this with current evidence and feed this into mainstream healthcare. As professionals in botanical medicine, we help to seed community medicinal gardens and teach people how to use the plants and foods for self-care. Our vision, unique in Britain, is to create a beautiful world herb/kitchen garden in central London, grown with the public as a new kind of visitor centre, and link to medicinal gardens worldwide.
Publica helps clients understand how places work. We produce public realm surveys and strategies and provide detailed design advice on the integration of new development. We help to establish vision within strategic masterplans and urban planning; agree regeneration objectives; and set a well informed and carefully considered brief – all with the aim of addressing change in places as a positive and inclusive process. Clients also use us to select the design team, support the policy and business case and manage and coordinate design development. Our work helps people think in new ways about processes of change and the possibilities they open up. We build up area portraits through detailed interviews, discussions, research and mapping. From this we produce an evidence-base and principles for change.