Friday, June 18, 2010

Guerrilla Gardening

If Guerrilla Gardeners had a motto, I think it would be Grace Hopper’s quote, “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” Guerrilla Gardeners, you see, garden on someone else’s land – without their permission! They “take over” a plot of abandoned or neglected land and turn it into something beautiful or life-giving. Some Guerrilla Gardening I’ve heard about (and have been invited to participate in) happens at night. But, that’s really hard work and more and more, I’m hearing about Guerrilla Gardening projects taking place in broad daylight. Gasp!

Guerrilla Gardening – and Guerrilla Gardeners are getting more press, too. There are a couple of Facebook pages Guerrilla Gardening and On Guerrilla Gardening. And, just this week there was an article in the St. Paul paper. I laughed when I read about the woman who threw “seed bombs” from her bike. She’s a real-life Miss Rumphius! (The article includes the “seed bomb” recipe.) I’m sure the triangle of earth between freeway entrances by my church was the target of seed bombs last year. Late in the summer, it was bursting with beautiful sunflowers. Right now, however, the space is looking pretty bleak. Hmmmm.

Speaking of seed bombs, I would say that Johnny Appleseed qualifies as Guerrilla Gardener, although he was sowing his seeds long before the term was coined in the early 1970s. (Appleseed’s name does appear in the Wikipedia article about Guerrilla Gardening!)

Earlier this year, I started following a blog about Guerrilla Gardening in Minneapolis. I’m worried about the blogger, though, because she hasn’t posted in a couple of months. I drove by the Basilica the other day and saw the roses she photographed in her last post. It did make my heart break.

So, fellow gardeners, how ‘bout it?! Got any gumption for guerrilla gardening? Anyone out there willing to ask forgiveness rather than get permission? Tell me your stories.


Fooberries said...

In the intersection of west stanford court and woodlawn ave in saint paul there is a circular, curbed thing with a street lamp that is begging for some gorillas to do some work. it currently just has grass, but could be so much more. scroll in on the google map just off the river road you will see it.

as discussed there are others who interpret the term guerrilla gardening in more was than described above. sometimes when property owners do not deal with their responsibilities as they should, others have to take matters into their own hands/shovels/clippers/saws.

Auntie K said...

Fooberries, are you inviting us to a guerrilla planting in St. Paul?!

It is disheartening when neighbors don't care for their property in the same way we care for ours. You haven't said whether anyone has talked with the person in question, but that seems like a good first approach to me.

Keep me posted on the street lamp project!

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