If guerrilla gardening hasn’t hit your radar yet, read this post! I have been hearing about it in bits and pieces over the past couple of years and vaguely knew that there was a movement afoot called “Guerrilla Gardening” but really haven’t paid much attention. That changed when I started seeing pictures of people with shopping carts in the dark planting bulbs! It is a growing trend across the globe to beautify the planet. I saw some pics of illicit installations that the group called http://www.guerrillagardening.org/ which is based in London, is doing and was intrigued, and looked around to see if I can do anything like this myself!
According to Wikipedia;
“Guerrilla gardening is gardening on land that the gardeners do not have legal right to use, often an abandoned site or area not cared for by anyone. It encompasses a very diverse range of people and motivations, from the enthusiastic gardener who spills over their legal boundaries to the highly political gardener who seeks to provoke change through direct action.”
I love the concept and think it is genius to plant green plants and flowers in public neglected places, like “tree pits” in London to make a statement. For the most part, young people are the perpetrators, and how are you going to object to someone for making a space more beautiful? Yes, I know, beauty is subjective, and not everyone has the same ideas of what makes something attractive, but who can argue with cheerful plantings and flowers?
Often done in the dead of night, people come with plants and trowels in hand and transform some unsightly spaces into a thing of beauty. Instead of a wheelbarrow, the schlepper of choice is a shopping cart, fitting right in with the urban landscape.
Here are the guidelines for a newbie Guerrilla Gardener:
- Choose a local orphaned lot or unloved public space close to home
- Appoint yourself it’s parent and gather your troops
- An evening attack is good timing for the work as local busy bodies will be out of sight
- Use cheap plants – think big box store plants that are really tough
- Choose big impact plants, cheerful and colorful
- Wear the proper clothing, old work clothes with ‘wellies’ or it’s equivalent on your feet; gloves are essential when cleaning up dirty urban areas
- Carry lots of containers or bags to haul debris away
- Bring plenty of H2O to water your space
- Bring compost to feed your plants as your soil at the chosen spot will likely be poor
- Don’t forget to tend your space as it grows, with water and TLC
International Sunflower Guerrilla Day
May 1 has been declared the International Sunflower Guerrilla Day and is touted as an “annual event of optimistic seed sowing.” You can get free sunflower seeds from the guerrilla gardening website http://www.guerrillagardening.org/ and trek around your chosen urban area, and plant hundreds of sunflower seeds in neglected and blighted areas. I would love to see before and after photos of an area that has been blitzed!
Talk about blitzing, if digging in the dirt is too much work, then try seed bombs. Watch this fun video about how to make seed bombs to throw on some neglected areas. To make seed bombs which are a seed delivery system, mix potters clay, worm castings or compost, and your choice of seeds and form into balls. Throw the ‘bombs’ wherever you would like to see something growing.
- Guerilla Gardening – Inspired (entwinedlife.com)
- Guerrilla Gardening and why I might be gardening your Garden. I’m genuinely not even trying to place a pun here. (dustyfeetphilosophy.wordpress.com)
- Guerilla Gardeners and Bragaw-Glenn Community Garden (alaskapublic.org)
- Guerilla Gardening – transforming the urban landscape (greenurbanjungle.wordpress.com)
- Robin Hoods of Neglected Landscapes (urbansucculents.wordpress.com)
- Guerrilla Gardening – Man Fills Potholes with Flowers (proflowers.com)
- TED TALKS: LA’s Guerilla Gardener (samandellas.wordpress.com)
- TED Tuesday – Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA (minusthebox.org)
- Guerrilla greens (stuff.co.nz)
- Guerrilla Gardening (drbausman.wordpress.com)