Monday, 10 May 2010

Guerilla Gardening



Do you know about Guerilla gardening?

It is easily one of the best things I have heard about in ages. It was started by Richard Reynolds who has been a guerilla for six years- since he started nurturing neglected patches of land in Elephant and Castle (which for people who don't know it is itself a very neglected but character filled part of London), where he lives.

On the guerilla gardening website he says he was 'driven by a life long love of gardening, a lack of a garden, and the fun of doing it in public I found easy opportunities in the abandoned flower beds, neglected traffic islands and tree pits near me'.

Basically the guerilla gardening troops take something like this:



And, often overnight, make it look like this:



Isn't that great?

And it happens all over the world now. On May the 1st 2010 over six thousand guerilla gardeners from across the world planted sunflower seeds, so look out for the glorious sunflowers in unexpected places that will hopefully be blooming soon!

You can find out lots more about the guerilla gardening movement here; including lots of advice on how to get started pimping your pavement.

There is also a guerilla gardening book which you can find out about here. They also have a facebook page and Richard tweets here or there is a guerilla gardening twitter here.

14 comments:

Jayne said...

I first heard about guerilla gardening four years ago when researching an article. I think it is a wonderful idea. I even started browsing the forums to see if there was a dig near me I could feasibly get to, but there wasn't... as for creating my own near where I live - I'd be too scared, haha! Not sure it is the sort of area that invites walking around at night with gardening implements. But I love the idea of it... there are too many unloved patches, and flowers brighten everyone's day.

La Bonne Vivante said...

That is such a fabulous idea. I love movements that beautify! I'll have to see if anyone does it around my neck of the woods, and if not, start something... My garden patch is so small, I need an outlet!

Rose said...

Hi Jayne- yes I head about it *whispers I think on countryfile* and sort of forgot and then I saw the book. I think it's an amazingly simple and wonderful idea and like you I'd like to give it a go- time or lack of it just seems to get in the way which is silly.

Hi La Bonne Vivante- you should definitely look into setting up, all you need are some plants and some time- I should really look into doing it too!

Metropolitan Mum said...

Oh, I think you would love this page: http://thepotholegardener.com/

I have tagged you in a photo meme - only if you are game, of course. x MM

http://www.metropolitanmum.co.uk/2010/05/spread-the-blogging-love/

flittersniffer said...

I am all for guerilla gardening though sadly I fail dismally even to keep up with my regular, suburban "making sure your front borders look tidy for the neighbours" gardening commitments, never mind taking a loose paving slab by surprise. : - )

Wildernesschic said...

No I had not seen this before , I think it is a wonderful idea, gardening is so therapeutic. Anything that encourages people to appreciate nature is wonderful. I love my garden and it is so neglected at the moment I could weep... but I will get to it.. eventually

Miss Welcome said...

Hi - visiting from MLS. My aunt is a guerilla gardener here in Paris.

Helena Halme said...

Rose,

I did hear about this some time ago, it's such a great idea. I think there was a TV programme about the guy?

I'll be looking out for the sunflowers and watering them if I have a bottle of water in hand while passing on a hot summer's day.

Helena xx

ScentScelf said...

Yes, guerilla gardening and variations...like the people who dared plant within spitting distance of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn (if you know the reputation the Gowanus had at some times, you'd know that spit sometimes seemed like the better choice between that and that which burbled in the waterway)...or any number of housing challenged urban areas where neighbors take over vacant lots. Heck, they're now talking about officially returning some areas of Detroit to cropland.

Growing green cheerfulness is a Good Thing. I once tried to persuade my school to invest in plantings along the curb...studies show that traffic speeds reduced at least 5mph in "zones of interest"...

Rose said...

Hi Helena, I think you must be right, I thought it was Countryfile but he deserves his own programme! Me too, I shall water with wild abandon. I really would like to try and guerilla too

Hi Scentscelf- it just makes me so happy people do these things. There was a completely brilliant documentary about Detroit on the BBC recently 'Requiem for Detroit'- it was worth the licence fee alone. I had no idea it was in such dire straits.

ScentScelf said...

Was there? I shall have to look this up.

Yes, Detroit has become a rather (woeful) media darling. One of our national weekly newsmagazines sent a team to live there for a year, and document the experience.

In the same way one would send a team to Rwanda, or Afghanistan, or the steppes of Russia.

Once upon a time, it was a city that typified urban America. I guess the morbid fascination is the hanging question, does it now do the same?

That's Not My Age said...

I love the idea of guerilla gardening & bought this book for my friend a couple of years ago. I've seen Richard's work at the Elephant (we live nearby) - and last year when we got back from our holiday a row of gigantic sunflowers had sprung up in the middle of the traffic island. I wonder....

Rose said...

Hi That's not my age- how lovely to see his work all the time, I used to live quite nearby but I don't get over there so much now- It would make me grin from ear to ear to see the sunflowers!

Agis said...

Guerilla gardening is a wonderful movement! I just hope that it does not become so common that the cities themselves decide that they are not going to spend any money on keeping the city green and flowering, since it apparently gets fixed anyway by well-meaning guerilla gardeners!