Thursday, October 2, 2008

Garden Terrorism: Bring it on

Have you ever noticed those plots of soil in cities across the country, amongst all the concrete that either contain appealing greenery or dull mulch and overgrown weeds? When well maintained, these plots of land can bring energy and life to an otherwise boring sea of mortar. However, when poorly maintained they merely add to the drab scenery. Enter the Guerrilla Gardening. The idea is that a secretive group of individuals sneak about at night, planting and maintaining these soiled areas for the well being of the community.

Below are eight simple steps to improving your scenery.

1. Find Local Orphaned Land
You will be amazed how many little grubby patches of unloved public space there are. Chose one close to home, perhaps you pass it on the way to the shops or work, and appoint yourself it's parent. This will make it much easier to look after in the long run and reduce the risk of straying into a dangerous neighborhood.

2. Plan A Mission
Make a date in the diary for an evening attack. Invite supportive friends.

3. Find A Local Supply of Plants
The cheapest plants are ones that are free. Sometimes garden centers will have spare plants to give you for the cause. Or befriend someone with a garden (you might even be lucky and have a garden yourself). Think of these private spaces as the training camps for harvesting seeds

4. Choose Plants For Front Line Battle
Think hardy - resistant to water shortages and the cold, and in some locations pedestrian trampling! These plants need to look after themselves a lot of the time.

5. Bag Some Bags
Weeds, litter, flower pots, and pebbles need to be carried away. The thick plastic does not rip and you can lug a great deal in them to a nearby trash bin.

6. Regular Watering
One of the responsibilities of a Guerrilla Gardener is ongoing parenting. You can use gas canisters to transport water.

7. Seed Bombs
For gardening those areas where access is difficult or a long dig is unsuitable, use seed bombs - seeds and soil wrapped in an explosive capsule.

8. Spread the Word
Let people know what you have done with a few flyers under doors near the guerrilla gardening war zone, a poster taped to a phone box or bus stop, a marker in the soil. Engage passers by in conversation, perhaps even bring a few spare tools. And welcome local media (particularly if they'll help towards the cost of your gardening, which many do).

Key Takeaway:
The small act of planting a few plants in a neglected plot of land can make a difference on a larger scale. It can open peoples eyes to the idea of community and a general positive approach toward life.

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