Guerrilla Gardening is a movement which seeks to take unused often ugly plots of neglected land and grow plants and vegetables. It is a loose movement with a variety of aspirations and ecologically green projects. It has been described as ‘The Illicit Cultivation of Someone else’s Land.
If you look around your city town or landscape, there are bound to be a neglected areas full of weeds and unnecessary concrete that would benefit from your green ministrations.Guerrilla Gardening may begin as an illicit activity of just planting in a certain area. In a way the thrill of guerrilla gardening is a combination of the illicit activity and the action of improving the local environment. It could be viewed as a beautiful form of vandalism. A kind of reverse graffiti.
There are many different and simple things that can be done as part of Guerrilla Gardening in a green manner.
- Planting bulbs / plants in an area devoid of colour
- Protecting weeds grown in unusual places.
- Clearing up litter
- Taking up unnecessary concrete and planting in it.
- Watering, feeding and generally looking after a bed of plants to give a different level of aesthetic or practical result.
Guerrilla Gardening and the Move to Legitimacy
Richard Reynolds in his book ‘On Guerrilla Gardening’ describes how he took on a neglected plot of land by his block of flats. He successfully grew an assortment of plants and even tomato plants. IT helped improve the local environment and no- one objected. However, after 3 years, contractors returned to garden in the area they had neglected. His plants were unceremoniously cut down.
After talking to local councilors, he was able to negotiate an agreement where he could continue to garden this plot of land. Interestingly his guerrilla gardening had raise a the scandal of how local residents had been paying contractors to supposedly garden in this area. But, for three years they had neglected their attention. But, when they resumed their activities three years late, the guerrilla gardener wanted to pursue his gardening. So he came to an arrangement with the local council to maintain his patch of garden. But, interestingly, in the negotiations, they became aware local residents had actually been paying a company to provide gardening services they had neglected to do.