Guerrilla Gardening

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Guerrilla gardening has interested me for a while.  I love the idea of improving our environment by planting neglected spaces with food and flowers, doing something positive as opposed to merely moaning about the short comings of those in charge.  In the optimistic hours before sleep I have planned forays to seed-bomb abandoned building sites, perhaps sneaking out under cover of night in boiler suit and balaclava planting overgrown corners with surplus bedding or maybe secretly donating an apple tree to an underfunded park.  Unfortunately my good intentions have always evaporated as I brushed my teeth the following morning.  All dreams and no action.

This is a modern housing estate just outside Cardiff but it could just as well be Coventry or Carlisle.   At the edge of the main thoroughfare an inspired soul has removed a section of grass verge and planted it with bright annuals.  Mallows, poppies and marigolds stand jubilant in stark contrast with the adjacent neatly mowed grass.   So simple, so effective, so beautiful.  All it took was a couple of packets of seed and a little work and a public garden has been created.  Guerrilla gardening doesn’t have to be 007-esque, dramatic and involving judo rolls, it can be small, it can be under-stated.  Of course it may not be strictly legal and some folk (disillusioned to my mind) may consider it not as “tidy” as a boring piece of turf, but surely only a complete idiot would object to this “amendment” to the council’s landscaping.  This joyful piece of planting has been generously donated to the community, I hope they appreciate it, it certainly made my day.  Thank you whoever you are! 

7 thoughts on “Guerrilla Gardening

  1. There’s quite a lot of this around Romsey, our nearest town. Friends who live in the town take it upon themselves to plant flowers around their road signs. I think it’s a great idea.

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  2. Quite a few people here are removing now the grass areas towards the street and plant tough perennial plants, usually ground cover types. It’s in front of their houses, so not really guerilla, but still the ‘exception’ rather than the rule.

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  3. I believe in some towns there are guerilla vegetable plots where passers-by are encouraged to harvest as well as look. Can get out of hand of course. In New Zealand lupins, foxgloves, gorse and elephant grass have all been classified as ‘noxious weeds’ because they have taken over water courses, heath land, etc. They look stunning when in flower, but block streams and smother native plants. And then there is that pretty little thing they call Japanese Knot Weed…

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