Monday, July 19, 2010

Sustainable Graffiti for the Soul

This is one of those brilliant ideas that looks so absolutely right that you wonder why no one ever thought of it until now.
(All photos via here)

Guerilla gardener Anna Garforth emblazons walls with mossy graffiti in her quest to meld intrigue into the transitory landscape of urban spaces.

My work needs to make an immediate impact given its ephemeral nature. There is a lot of wild in the city. My eye has become attuned to the plant life that pushes and grows its way through all the cracks in the concrete. Once you have noticed it, it's everywhere....

~Anna Garforth

Garforth uses nourishing ingredients to affix the moss to surfaces. "I collect a common moss that grows well on brick walls and glue it to the wall using a mixture of natural (bio active) yoghurt and sugar."

I've spent the last year watching my ivy delightedly clamber over my own brick wall and now I want to pull it all off in favor of an inspiring quote. There's something so elementally profound about it, don't you think?

It's Arcadian poetry transported to the urban jungle.

Listen to the way Anna describes herself on her website...I think you'll agree she lives with passion and purpose:

I am the crazed woman with mud on her face, bristling with moss and screaming against the wind on a bike laden down with foraged materials.

And now for the question of the day: Given the chance to emblazon your own wall, what quote would you put up?

My personal top three picks would be:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
(Robert Herrick)

There is strong shadow where there is much light.

Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
(Andrew Marvell)


Editors Note: I'm off to Kauai for a brief spell. Back soon. Be good.


Illuminated Perfume said...

How glorious!

Hannah Stoneham said...

What a marvelous idea. I am fascinated by you top quotations - the rosebuds line is used in one of my favourite novels - Sisters by a river by Barbara Comyns

Another splendid post, thanks for sharing


Anna Mavromatis said...

I am so glad Anna Garforth thought of it and you are introducing/showing it to us!
Thank you for your constant excellent content!!!

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

OK, now she is about as groovy cool as they come! Lurve street art, but vibing on the garden art even more. Lisa your inquisitive mind finds all the most exciting aesthetics. Thank you.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, I wonder if I could ever narrow down the quotations enough to pick one to emblazon my garden wall. At present, all I can think of is:

"A little song, a little dance,
A little seltzer down your pants".

And that one just doesn't seem quite right.

Cathi said...

That is fabulous - what a great idea! Two of my fave quotes - "The most beautiful adventures are not those we go to seek" Robert Louis Stevenson and "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Marcel Proust

P.S. My friend Mary is an organic farmer in Kauai...say hello if you venture to the Farmers Market.

pve design said...

Oh, it would be hard to pick, but I think I would love some sort of monogram or moniker of moss.

katiedid said...

"Change is not merely necesary to Life. It is Life."- Alvin Toffler.

That way if the moss creeps outside the's all the better.

A hui hou!


A different Marvell, I think: A green thought in a green shade.

Susiachi said...

hmmm, for some reason Dorothy Parker first popped in my mind: "What fresh hell is this?"

Unknown said...

So pretty and inspiring. Have a good time in Kauaii. Eat some lilikoi pie!!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

You are ALL so literate it slays me...!

I love all the suggested quotes...

Pamela Terry and Edward: You make me laugh.

Cathi: That Proust quote is marvelous.

PVE: Ooh, monogram, yes. I can see it. Very YOU.

katiedid: Your Toffler idea is brilliant -- love it outgrowing its borders. xx

Linda: Pure loveliness, that is!

Susiachi: The power of that quote is dependent on the right setting, no?!

Ivarene Farmer: That sounds fattening. xx

Wings said...

My favorite quote is. "Living well is the best revenge." Gerald Murphy.

The Buzz Blog @ Diane James Home said...

How wonderful to see nature in such creative hands! I would love to have our gigantic boulder in the backyard emblazoned the word "harmony", a sentiment I try to live by daily. Safe travels, happy adventures!

gluttonforlife said...

"There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way."

Mona Thompson said...

Fabulous! I love this idea. I have a little herb garden behind walls that I may just try this in. I don't guess I would hurt the rock wall if I don't like it?

aemcdraw said...


Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful original idea - organic gaffiti...

Helen James said...

LIsa I haven't left a comment in an age as I have been up to my eyes relocating a family of 5 to NYC , nice to be back and catching up on your inspiring posts. My quote in lieu of the recent move would have to be= " Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage". Anais nin

Justine said...

just found your blog, such interesting content

L'Elégante said...

Magnifique et merveilleuse nature.
Thank you!

Ivy Lane said...


Born & Bred Studio said...

So cool!! Love it! xxx

Where My Heart Is said...

Ooh I know what I want to do now - replace my house number on my rendered wall with moss! My rendered wall is red so wouldn't the green look great. LOVE the idea - it is ingenious! I really can't believe I haven't seen this before now as it seems so logical. Helps soften modern cold surfaces.Thanks for the inspiration.

Angie Muresan said...

Ah! I love this! Simply spectacular.

Teacats said...

"What was Paradise - but a Garden?"

Or for the full quote:

"What was Paradise - but a Garden, an orchard of trees and herbs, full of pleasure, and nothing there but delights" William Lawson London 1618

quoted in "In and Out of the Garden" Sara Midda


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