The term guerrilla gardening was used by Liz Christy and her Green Guerrilla group in 1973 in New York. Guerilla gardening takes place in many parts of the world – more than thirty countries are documented. It describes gardening on a piece of unused land not belonging to oneself. This could be a patch of overgrown grass outside the tower-blocks in Ladywood, around the gravestones of Pigeon Park, or those unused squares surrounding tree-trunks in the pavement of Birmingham high-streets… it’s wherever you see somewhere that could be brightened up! Plant wildflowers, vegetables, sunflowers, fruit bushes… anything you have seeds or cuttings of and can imagine will grow in your secret location!
There are also more serious reasons to do your bit of Guerrilla Gardening. In a time of food insecurity, collapsing eco-systems and fragmented communities, council or private ownership of land left neglected is a tragic waste and needs to be put to better use by us, the tax-payer and the community.
We held a seed-bomb making workshop at the Birmingham FOE office open to all on the 21st March – this involved forming balls of soil and flower seeds, letting them dry out, then throwing them wherever you see a good spot! Easy and great fun, the seed bomb is a nice tool in the Guerrilla Gardener arsenal.
The future is bright; the future is the colour of the flowers you sow today.
Sow the seeds of a better, brighter community today and plant something on your street this evening with a packet of seed, a spoon and a drink-bottle filled with water. Take this newsletter with you and hand it to any interested passer-by as way of explanation. They can have a good read whilst you get on with beautifying Birmingham! If you’d like a bit of help one evening, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you.
See www.guerrillagardening.org for examples of Guerrilla Gardening spanning the globe from London to Chicago.