Guerrilla gardening has been documented as far back as the diggers, founded in 1649 by Gerrard Winstanley who began cultivating wasted and unused land in England to grow and harvest food. Although one assumes the movement continued throughout the 18th and 19th century, very little records exist to prove this was the case. Here, two artifacts taken from the Victoria & Albert Museum have been re-designed as guerrilla gardening objects, suggesting methods that could have been used by the gardeners had the movement existed between 1700-1900.
The Apple Scoop (1740)
In the year of 1740, Ireland was experiencing one of the worst famines in its history due to cold weather and drought, which eventually killed 10% of its total population. This modified apple scoop is an English guerrilla gardener’s response to the crisis. Given to his wife as a marriage token, this adapted apple scoop retained the apple core, allowing for the seeds to be replanted at a later date. This helped ensure that with every apple eaten, another apple tree was planted.
Lady’s Archery Scoring Kit (1850-1860)
During the 19th century, London's population swelled by millions, exceeding London's ability to offer its citizens basic human needs such as food and sanitation. This altered archery scoring kit is a middle-class lady’s attempt to discreetly sow fruit and vegetable seeds to help feed those less fortunate. When venturing into London from her home in the countryside, she would bring her archery kit containing seed embedded clay darts rather than arrows. One would imagine that between running errands, she would throw the clay darts and use the scoring chart to mark out the areas where they fell.