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    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Guerrilla Gardening - 12 Steps To Addiction

    So Problogger is having a community writing project for "how to" posts on blogs, and the weather is cooling off. "What can I write?", I ask myself. A how to about Guerrilla Gardening of course! So, here, at the end of most people's growing season, I will talk about planting and growing beautiful, healthy plants in neglected public places for the benefit of the community and the beautification of whatever neighborhood you decide to use as a palette.

    Warning: there is no recovery program for horticultural addictions.

    I Received a mysterious brown envelope in the mail the other day with no return address and a stamp picturing beans and seeds. The postmark says NY, NY...

    When opened, I found my new troop identification card and welcome letter for GuerrillaGardening.org! *grin*

    See, I have a confession to make. I am a guerrilla Gardener. I take abandoned, ugly, lackluster, public planters, plots of land, and empty spaces and make them beautiful or productive by planting them full of flowers, landscape plants, or garden goodies. Think of it as community service. I help make the city beautiful, while encouraging people to stop for a moment and enjoy the beauty of simple existence. I started My addiction to nocturnal horticulture this past spring when I saw a link to GuerrillaGardening.org on one of my many favorite websites.

    The greatest part about it: It's perfectly legal!
    Tied for Second: Making pretty in the city. Getting the kids involved and counting it as community service on the school records.

    1) Find a likely neglected spot or several.

    2) Be sure it is truly neglected. (cigarette butts are a good clue)

    3) Gather up some tools for the job like peat moss, composted manure, natural fertilizer water mix, and seeds or baby plants. (Plant starts are the preferred choice
    so you don't have people accidentally stomping on or putting out cigarettes out on your new tender seedlings)

    4) Under cover of darkness, prepare the soil for planting.

    5) Plant the seedlings and seeds and water well.

    6) VERY well.

    7) Water at least once every three days for the first week, then switch to once a week or so as you can manage.

    8) Wait.

    9) Replant or replace the things that get smashed by inconsiderate pedestrians.

    10) Wait some more.

    11) Get rewarded with healthy plants to look at every time you wander by.

    12) Don't forget to keep watering, fertilizing with natural fertilizers, and to pollinate flowers if necessary.
    I'm already planning for next year. For my first time ever doing this, I think it went great!

    What's your secret addiction?

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    Kayliz said...

    this is cool.
    really helpful.

    Jim said...

    What a great idea! This combines so many of my ideals in one- It's positive, it's anarchistic and anti-authority, it promotes nature, and it creates beauty in the world. I may just have to order a kit myself!

    Kailani said...

    That's so great! I wish I could grow something but I usually kill it within a week.

    If you'd ever like to submit a post to the Carnival of Family Life, we'd love to have you!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Doug Green said...

    Good stuff! Those of who aren't guerrilas can only appreciate the midnight antics of those who are. And it's a LOT better to plant green stuff at night than steal it!

    Go GG's!

    p.s. glad you entered the problogger contest - I did the same. We need all the garden blogging pro's we can get. :-)

    Corinne said...

    This concept is great. There is no doubt that green and living plants do great things to lift the spirits. To do this in areas where there is neglect must eventually do great things for those who live there.

    Whimspiration said...

    Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments. *smile*

    Matt Glover said...

    I planted a guerilla but nothing happened...

    Great post!

    Stuart said...

    Matt - you may have put it in upside down! Just a thought!!

    Richard said...

    Whimspiration, glad to see you got your Troop Card. Keep up the good work, spreading the word and sowing the seed.

    Richard said...

    If you have a moment, please e-mail me richard@guerrillagardening.org as I'd love to know a bit more about what you planted. Thanks

    Anonymous said...

    What I didn't see on your site, and what I believe to be very critical is some information on the importance of using native plants where-ever possible. What everyone needs to know is the damage non native plants can cause. While there are non natives that are okay, many become invasive and do a tremendous amount of damage. Invasive plants cause many billions of dollars in damage to farms, ranches and other agricultural endeavors. In addition, they kill off native species of plants and thereby destroy the habitat for native birds, animals, fishes and everything else in the eco system.

    A majority of these invasive plants were brought in by nurseries and sold to well meaning home owners who never realized the harm they were causing. Invasive plants such as English Ivy, periwinkle, Scotch and Spanish Broom, Salt Cedar, Kudzu, Yellow Star Thistle and many-many more are now serious environmental problems. I would encourage you to post information on the damage invasive plants cause, in a place everyone visiting your web site will see it.

    Here are some links to sites with more information:





    Paul Sacramento, CA

    Whimspiration said...

    Paul, Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    Invasive species are truly a thing to consider and research before engaging in a gardening project of any sort.

    I had neglected to put that in this post, so thank you for adding it here for me. I will use the links you provided for reasearch on this spring's GG, as well as future blogging posts.

    Rory Proudfoot said...

    I just read an interview about this by someone who wrote a book on it. I can't remember the name, Guerrilla Gardening Something, but it was on this site -


    Whimspiration said...

    Rory, Thanks for the tip. Looks like I'm going to have to subscribe to that one. :D

    suzanne.artist said...

    I was wondering if there was such thing as distributing seeds in the dark to beautify an abandoned area and I found it here!

    This to me is also known as "The Broken Window" theory mentioned in Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point". Basically, the book is a theory on how ideas hit tipping point so the idea sparks everyone's imagination or consciousness.

    The new police commissioner in NYC applied this to the graffiti sprayed all over the subways in New York. Every night the trains go out to park in an area, kids came out and spray painted them. When the kids were finished town employees came out and painted over the graffiti. The kids continued-until they got frustrated and the vandalism diminished greatly.

    The "Broken Window Theory" means if people enter an area that shows signs of abandonment they too will unconsciously disrespect the area-but if an area shows people care about it-people will unconsciously be more respectful of the area-i.e. diminished littering etc.

    Guerilla Gardening must accomplish this and I will heed the warning about using native plants too.

    Suzanne in CT