Guerilla Gardening! Grab your trowel and get dirty!
When you think of the term Guerilla Gardening what comes to mind? When I first heard of the term I started to think of people dressed in dark clothing going out at night and secretly planting seeds. It reminded me of my childhood days where I would take sunflower seeds and plant them in my grandmother’s flower beds without her knowing. Year after year she continued to wonder how the sunflowers came to be in her front yard. I never had the heart to tell her that I was the culprit.
During my search for Guerilla Gardening websites, I came across a Toronto website, Publicspace.ca. According to their website, they define the term Guerilla Gardening as, “Without permit or license, we plant seeds and seedlings in all those neglected corners of public space. Join us as we vandalise the city with nature!”. I am intrigued by the concept of eco-vigillanties, armed with seeds and trowels, heading out on their covert operations bringing back life and beauty to abandoned wastelands. Sign me up! I am ready to go on an eco-mission!
Some of the more popular targets are:
* Vacant lots
* Property lines under utility right of ways
* Edges of alleys and walks next to buildings where the owners don’t grow plants or weed
* Edges of parking lots and homeowner parking pads that are neglected.
I did a search on google for “guerilla gardening” and came across 1.3 million results for the term. One of the top sites I cames across is Guerilla Gardening.org. They have a great website that is filled with stories and images from various global Guerilla Gardening organizations (New York, Toronto, Zurrich and other cities). The website also list 11 Steps you should think about when Guerilla Gardening. I will just list a few for our readers. For the full detailed list, please visit their website.
Step 1: Spot some local orphaned land
Step 2: Plan a mission
Step 3: Find a local supply of plants
Step 4: Choose plants for front line battle
Step 7: Regular Watering
Step 10: Spread the Word
For those of you looking to plant in areas with limited to no access, there is a great solution, “Seed Grenades”. The recipe found on the website lists two carrier options, an old glass christmas ornament and a water balloon. A seed grenade is a great tool for those legally inaccessable areas. Off the top of my head I can think of a dozen areas where I could lauch a few grenades. Perhaps when spring arrives, Bentley and I will test out our throwing arms and bring some beauty back to Waterloo and Elmira.
I hope this post will help spread the word to our rearders and will encourage many of you to look in your own neighbourhoods for potential targets. Grab some seeds, a trowel and a few friends and help revitalize your community. If you are looking for links to guerilla gardening organizations in your country and city, have a look at the links section on Guerilla Gardening.org’s website or a google search. If one does not exist for your community, start your own!