Guerilla Gardening

Tools of choice for guerrilla gardeners

Tools of choice for guerrilla gardeners

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!

London planting

London planting

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.”

Gardeners in action

Gardeners in 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?

fr.ekopedia.org/Guerilla_jardini%C3%A8re

fr.ekopedia.org/Guerilla_jardini%C3%A8re (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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:

  1. Choose a local orphaned lot or unloved public space close to home
  2. Appoint yourself it’s parent and gather your troops
  3. An evening attack is good timing for the work as local busy bodies will be out of sight
  4. Use cheap plants – think big box store plants that are really tough
  5. Choose big impact plants, cheerful and colorful
  6. 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
  7. Carry lots of containers or bags to haul debris away
  8. Bring plenty of H2O to water your space
  9. Bring compost to feed your plants as your soil at the chosen spot will likely be poor
  10. Don’t forget to tend your space as it grows, with water and TLC
    Shopping cart and bike- the urban wheelbarrows
    Shopping cart and bike- the urban wheelbarrows

International Sunflower Guerrilla Day

International Sunflower Guerilla Gardening Day Logo

International Sunflower Guerilla Gardening Day Logo

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!

An urban strip planted in sunflowers

An urban strip planted in sunflowers

Seed Bombs

One part Bentonite clay powder, one part potti...

One part Bentonite clay powder, one part potting compost, some poppy and nasturtium seeds, and enough water to make it stick. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWvp_EoRxY0

Planting in tree pits in London

Planting in tree pits in London

Pansies in gritty urban garden setting - Guerilla Gardening in London!!

Pansies in gritty urban garden setting – Guerilla Gardening in London!!

fr.ekopedia.org/Guerilla_jardini%C3%A8re

fr.ekopedia.org/Guerilla_jardini%C3%A8re (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Guerrilla gardening in Pigneto (Rome)...

English: Guerrilla gardening in Pigneto (Rome) (Italy) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About thegardendiaries

Claire Jones is a landscape and floral designer and owner of Claire Jones Landscapes, LLC. She designs and helps people to create their own personal outdoor oasis and loves to write about her gardening failures and successes.
This entry was posted in gardening, urban gardening and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Guerilla Gardening

  1. I LOVE it!! I’m signing up!! :)

  2. Reblogged this on Romancing the Bee and commented:
    Let’s all sign up!!

  3. Juliette says:

    This post needs a love button! I’m busting out the sunflower seeds this weekend!

  4. Pingback: the perfect is the enemy of the good | truebeautyalways

  5. Reblogged this on The Salem Garden and commented:
    I love this! What a fun, new gardening trend. Watch out Salem, I’m looking around for my guerilla garden!! And if you see anything flying out of my car windows it will be a seed bomb :)

  6. Great Idea. I know in Collingswood, NJ, there a group of gay men how every Spring go around town and plant the a few corners of plants.

  7. Pingback: Guerrilla Gardening: What is It and How Can You join? | Ground to Ground

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