~Henry David Thoreau
I’m talking about troops that have waged a war on ugly! A war to beautify neglected and abandoned hidey-holes or forsaken weed patches around their neighborhoods and cities. Not all communities have the resources to beautify unused pubic spaces, so this is a great way for gardeners to plant a face-lift for all to enjoy. This could even be a way to revitalize or reclaim a neighborhood that has seen its share of turf wars, and I mean the real thing here.
Guerrilla Gardening.org was started as a grass-roots effort to beautify London. Now gardeners all over the world have been inspired to turn to guerrilla gardening to spruce up their communities and it is documented on this website. Click on the ‘troop digs’ tab to see the handiwork of the troops at large. You can even find if there is a regiment in your area planning the next coup!
You can be sure this idea has got me looking differently at my city’s weed patches and cracked concrete medians. I think this is a great idea, but I must caution all of us to be responsible to choose seeds and plants that we know are NOT invasive species. For example English ivy (Hedera) and Kudzu are vines brought into the USA from overseas that are now choking out many of our native species. Both contain seeds that are eaten by birds and spread around via their system of air mail. Be careful which plants you choose and be informed of how they spread before your warfare begins.
This one, on the other hand, needs a covert operation. Credit must be given to the effort made, there are some tulips actually trying to emerge even after the out-of-control 4X4 added its imprint to the topography.
Maybe somehow a handful of annual purple poppy seeds will accidentally scatter themselves on it this week.
How about you? Are you a guerrilla gardener? Do you intend to become one? Have you ever engaged in hand-to-dirt combat under the cloak of darkness to beautify a public space? Oh, do tell!
In bloom in my garden today: primrose, hellebore, Corylopsis veitchiana (Winter Hazel), daffodils, skimmia, Mahonia repens (Oregon Grape), Tulipa turkestanica, heather, Rhodendrons, Clematis, Hyacinth ‘Blue Jacket’, Muscari (grape hyacinths)