One of the segments was about Richard Reynolds and the “guerrilla gardening” movement which I wrote about here last year. He talks about his adventures as a guerrilla gardener – someone who tends and plants on someone else’s land. It’s illegal, and yet, you can’t see how most people would object to it in the vast majority of cases.
It’s the abandoned lot that gets cleaned up and filled with flowers. It’s the ugly roadside that gets covered with native wildflowers.
Reynolds is the author of On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries.
Saturday May 1st 2010 is International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day – a day to sow sunflowers in your neighborhood. More than 1,000 people took part last year and this time with May Day being a Saturday there’s the potential to get even more people involved and more sunflowers sown. Find inspiration and instructions here, spread the word and get planting.
I like all the suggestions and plans people have posted at their website about creating “seed bombs.” Those are good bombs made of seeds, soil, fertilizer, water and such which you can hurl over that chain link fence into that ugly abandoned lot.
Another guest on the show is James William Gibson who wrote A Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature which examines the ways that people are looking to reconnect with the natural world. That includes the desire to to protect rather than exploit it.
If you associate guerrilla with Vietnam and bombs with warfare and terrorism, then guerrilla gardening and seed bombs are a nice alternative. If you associate enchantment with wizards and magic, then the a re-enchantment with the natural world is also a nice alternative.
To add some balance to all this, there’s also Amy Stewart’s Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities.
She writes about some lovely, common garden varieties, that can kill you. Nature can be kind, but it also has power – earthquakes, floods and volcanoes of late – that can kill. Respect Mother Nature.
And then you have architect Charles Jencks who, along with his late wife, created a private garden to explore scientific concepts through landscape art. He has a book of his photographs of Garden of Cosmic Speculation.
His garden then inspired the composer Michael Gandolfi to write music that explores those same ideas. Gandolfi’s music, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation (CD), was nominated for a Grammy.
Look where this road leads – planting seeds in the city, down the road to a re-enchanted woods, learning about nature good and evil, back home to create a cosmic garden and then relaxing in a chair listening to music.
Here’s the story of the New York guerrilla gardeners in a short film that looks at the Green Guerillas origins as lawbreakers and into their acceptance by the city of their community gardens. Blooms versus building booms.
With urban construction slowing and stalling in the current economy, there maught be even more derelict land to “take over.” London’s Kew Bridge Eco Village exists where development stalled.
The land is better gardened than left derelict.
Get guerrilla in the Southwestern aridlands http://www.nativeseeds.org