A few days ago I looked at my How-To of the Day gadget and saw a term that caught my interest: Guerrilla Gardening. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?
But what in the heck is guerrilla gardening?!
Well, it turns out that guerrilla gardening is simply gardening on public or private land that has gone into disrepair. Basically, you're making use of space that's been ignored by the people who are supposed to care for it. Kinda like when people that are homeless temporarily move into an abandoned building. You garden with the knowledge that your space could be dug up or destroyed at any time.
I found the above image through flickr, so I can't take any credit for this great example of guerrilla gardening. Rather, this image was taken from Jean-Luc Henry in Canada. I've also seen examples of people gardening within sewer grates, inside potholes in city streets, and so much more!
This is a great concept for anyone that wants to build a garden, but doesn't have space of their own to do it. Keep in mind though, that doing this is illegal, since the land is owned by someone else. This may be part of the reason that many guerrilla gardeners do their plant care and sowing at night.
There are even things called 'seed bombs' that have been designed to enable gardeners to plant in hard to work areas, or in areas that they may fear being at for a particularly long time. Wow! Seed bombs are just what they sound like: small balls that carry seeds and growth materials that 'explode' at a time that will enable the seeds to take root. No, there's no fire or scary limb-threatening explosion, so you don't need to worry about that. Don't let your imagination take you too far! Seed bombs can be made at home, or even bought online. Brilliant, if you ask me!
Now, guerrilla gardening can get you into a lot of trouble. It can be seen by public officials as vandalism, for one thing. Just like taggers running in and spray painting a wall, guerrilla gardeners make their own unsanctioned mark on an area with their planting. There is risk involved.
This isn't always the case, however. You can always get permission from a land owner to do this. There are even some guerrilla gardeners that have gotten permission from public officials to plant on public property that's not being used. I have to ask, though, whether it's truly guerrilla gardening if you have permission... that seems to be a bit of an oxymoron.
Guerrilla gardening seems like a beautiful idea, to me. Planting useful flowers or fruits in an area that's otherwise neglected seems like it would not only provide pedestrians with something a little more pleasant to view, but also raise property values, thereby encouraging urban growth in the area. Most people don't like dealing with the weeds that accumulate in and around an abandoned or neglected area, but do like to see something designed with love and care.
So far, I haven't seen anything in the area I'm currently living in that would be conducive to guerrilla gardening (probably because I don't know enough about the area to recognize areas that are overgrown with weeds), but I'll be heading back to my home in the desert southwest in the near future to do some work on my old house, and I have the perfect area in mind! We'll see if I have the chance to do this while I'm there!
Of course, in hindsight, this method probably would have been a great way to fix the hole in my driveway. It wouldn't be considered guerrilla gardening, since it's on the property I'm renting, but I'm sure I could always find a pothole or two in the area... especially since road repair isn't a high priority in my town due to budget concerns.
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