As I have written about often here on Care2.com, it seems that gardening has never been more popular. Aside from growing their own fruits and veggies to help them deal with the economic downturn, many people have turned to gardening due to their desire to have a positive impact on their local environment.
One group that’s been doing this since long before gardening became trendy, are the Guerrilla Gardeners. This is a growing movement of green enthusiasts who transform abandoned patches of land in cities by planting in neglected public spaces and vacant lots. Their goals include creating a better community by improving the landscape and quality of life there, and helping urban ecosystems by planting mostly native plants to attract wildlife to those areas.
Technically, the act of planting on property that isn’t yours is a form of vandalism, like graffiti. So, not surprisingly, while many guerrilla gardeners plant out in the open in broad daylight as a community endeavor, part of the appeal for many others are the nighttime planting parties, where members go on “seed bombing” runs, secretly beautifying these abandoned lots to avoid possible arrest. However, there have been no reports of arrests, just inquisitive questioning from law enforcement and other public officials.
The act has become popular worldwide and it has gained momentum thanks to Internet gardening blogs and sites like www.guerrillagardening.org, Los Angeles Guerrilla Gardening, and Public Space in Canada.
These sites post photos of sites they have transformed, have tips on planting, making seed bombs, selecting sites and even community boards for arranging seed bomb “raids.”
Guerrilla gardening has even spawned its own industry. For example, in the UK, this week the number three nonfiction book list on Amazon.co.uk is On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries by Richard Reynolds.
This week is especially big for guerrilla gardening since May 1st has been declared International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day. Why May 1st? According to the site it’s a day that is traditionally a celebration of the first day of summer and nature’s fertility. And, native sunflowers are used because they attract wildlife, require minimal care and of course, are nice to look at.
If you are interested in planting for International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day, the same site also features tips about planting, a blog, and a board to share your adventures in guerrilla gardening!
Forest and Kim Starr from Creative Commons