As part of Porty Art Walk 2016 we invited people to drop by and make some #BloomingBricks - little bundles of seeds, soil and recycled paper that will bring the nooks and crannies of Portobello (and beyond) to life with wildflowers across the city! 


We were thrilled to be invited again to contribute to the Porty Art Walk curated programme of arts works and installations across Portobello on Saturday 3 Sept 2016. In developing our ideas we wanted to make sure to respect the local context of Portobello, this year focussing on an interesting chapter of its local history which provides an interesting and important local landmark. The 'Blooming Bricks' are a direct reference to Portobello’s historical kilns, the last two surviving pottery kilns in Scotland.

In the past, bricks produced in local Portobello kilns contributed to the creation of buildings in the Portobello area. The contemporary ‘blooming bricks’ we made as part of Porty Art Walk 2016 similarly hoped to contribute to Portobello. They were designed to be integrated into the nooks and overlooked spaces of Portobello’s built environment to create colourful corners of green plants and bright wildflowers.

The easiest and most user friendly way to create the bricks is by using a briquette press which only requires man power. Wildflower seeds are mixed with locally sourced subsoil. Shredded newspaper is added to ensure a first layer of protection for the seeds until rainwater activates the bricks. The bricks are assembled using pressure which makes the blocks solid and ready to be ‘planted’ in pockets of land, unused green areas and vertical nooks in walls and built environment. 

In choosing the wildflower mix, we wanted to pick species which are both already present in gardens in Portobello - to further develop their existing visual impact - but also species which are ideal for a seaside climate but currently not present to add on the local biodiversity and sensory interest in the local flora. The wildflower mixed will be suitable for the subsoil to better germinate in the pressed compost.

The #BloomingBricks are fully biodegradable and eco-friendly, respecting the ethos of the project.


Take a look at other examples of our work and projects.