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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Poster pocket plants revisited

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Last week we posted briefly on the new poster pocket plants at Queen St. West and Spadina Ave.  We recently got in touch with the creators of the project, artists Sean Martindale and Eric Cheung, who happen to be Spacing readers.

The two artists collaborated for the first time on the project with the aim to help activate public space.  First, they cut triangular shapes directly into the thick existing poster layers.  Then they peeled back those layers, wrapping the outside edge of the cut-out posters back into the pole to form the cones.

Only staples were needed to hold the cones in place and support the soil and flowers planted, with some cones needing extra poster paper wheat-pasted onto the underside.  All of the cones have an aeration hole at the bottom and are placed in a corkscrew patter that allows water to flow from one plant to the next.

Sean and Eric welcome their pocket plant design being used by others, so long as it isn’t for profit.  Although not meant to last, they have already noticed that someone has been adding flowers to at least one of the planters, while several other planters have been stolen from their pole.

Keep your eye out for more of these projects springing up around the city, since the two collaborators plan to install more “urban hacks” in the near future.  Sean and Eric would also appreciate any advice from other gardeners (guerrilla or not) regarding what kinds of plants would be best to grow and survive the longest in these types of urban settings.

For more photos see here



  1. Are those pics from this week? I am wondering how well they survived the torrential rain we had on Saturday.

  2. Further ideas? Google these two words: moss graffiti

  3. Excellent idea to bring new life to Toronto’s smoggy sidewalks. Ideal plants for this situation would be sedums. These are hardy little succulent plants that can withstand almost anything – especially drought. They are a staple plant used in rock gardens and city greenroofs. Also try Sempervivums (aka Hens and Chicks). Oh! and perhaps some native grasses – that would look fun too.
    Thanks you two.
    Happy planting 🙂

  4. Woody plants are best for drought, especially small-ish ones like:

    dusty miller
    lamb’s ears
    dwarf horsetail
    small varieties of lavender

    Fountain grass is a good bet, too.

    Plants are on sale for $1 apiece at Metro Garden Centres and black earth is 6 bags for 10 bucks.

    Try writing “please water me” on cones to get locals to care for plants.

    Have fun!

  5. I really love this idea! I want to bring it to Australia for everyone to see! Thanks for sharing!


  6. It’s all going to fall apart. Seems like a waste of time and resources to me. Not very sustainable…

  7. its a quiet good idea, which made me very happy and i like to bring it to india for every one to see.