Location:  St George’s Circus, London, SE1 Guerrilla Gardening: Wednesday 24 December 08 It’s Christmas all year round at St George’s Circus since we planted a Christmas tree in the centre of the bed. Our first tree passed away a while ago but there’s been a baby one there since last January when Meike 155 and I salvaged one from Andy 157’s Christmas decorations. But it’s so shy there hiding amongst the Rosemary and Lavender giving no festive cheer to the passers by. So I cobbled together a shining star from cardboard, silver foil and old garden wire and tied it on this evening.St George's Circus, SE1 London
The silver star shines from the undergrowthShining Star
Incredibly, despite the cold weather, the short hours of day light and that we sowed these sunflowers in May, they are still in full bloom in winter. Could this be evidence of global warming? Not this time. These did not mature and bloom until September, well after we harvested the lavender and gave the seedlings adequate sunlight. They have only grown to a third of the size of their giant siblings, (and it will take a chill of -2°C to accelerate their decline). A great accident.Winter?
December DigsA lot of crispy leaves to sweep away 4 Dec.Guerrilla Gardening
Me planting Paul 3781's Campanula in some empty spots in our four year old guerrilla garden at St George's Circus 4 Dec.I divided up the clump of Niloufer 059's purple  Sedum and oplanted it in the shallow
In the beds of Perronet House I had a tray of young Digitalis to go in, and endless plastic bags and bottles to take out! 16 Dec.Student documentary makers stand by 14 Dec.I lay a thick mulch of wood chips on this young bed to keep the weeds at bay and to stop erosion 16 Dec.
Location: Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 Incident: Friday 5 December 08 An exotic looking giant beetle bit a chunk off the corner of our lavender field this morning after careering through the crash barrier. No one was hurt but a few clumps were uprooted. The car was an estate agent’s, and this crash is perhaps fitting for the the times. A jogger asked me was it an ad?Beetle Attack
A beetle crashed into the lavender fieldThe damage and debris
Rotten Borough
NEWS: Friday 5 December 2008 Regular readers of this blog and those who have read the final chapter of my book On Guerrilla Gardening will know that a year ago I secured a significant guerrilla gardening victory when Southwark Council refunded me and my neighbours three years of their fraudulent charges for gardening that guerrilla gardeners had done voluntarily and agreed not to charge us again. But two weeks ago our annual bills arrived and they include the charge. I hoped it was a mistake but this week I got a response from Margaret O’Brien, Head of Housing asserting that the refund was an error andBilled for gardening thats not even ours
Read the full story here
that the charge will be imposed. Not because they were going to resume gardening again (no, thankfully permission has been granted for me to continue as a volunteer) but because of an entirely resolvable anomaly that groups our block with a cul-de-sac housing estate several streets away. In today’s paper our oily local Conservative councilor
Kim Humphreys
(who has a track record of causing trouble at Perronet House) Kim Humphreys weighs in backing Margaret’s decision. The council’s scandalous and incompetent stance about this issue has lit the blue touch paper here as other residents join the fight and the grounds maintenance issue becomes a focal
point for a range of other grievances. Read more about the highs and lows of Perronet Househere.
Location: Stamford Street, London SE1. Guerrilla Gardening: Sunday 30 November 2008. This is the patch we have made The Sunflower Triangle. But sunflowers die in winter and keel over pitifully as twiggy ghosts of their former selves. We left this lot up as rich pickings for hungry birds but today was time for decapitation and a tidy up. Christopher 1594 from Richmond USA and his girlfriend joined us. Chris is the creator of the Seed Gun (Read more here) but helped us by choppingOff With Their Heads!
Gun (Read more here) but helped us by chopping
Our harvest of sunflower headsAndrew 1679 carries plants on his bike
Seed Guns     DecapitationOne and a half hours later
off the sunflowers’ seed heads from the stalks. We took some home for drying and seed saving and scattered the rest around the bed to self seed and provide food for the sharp eyed pigeon. Even though it is now winter there is still an opportunity to plant instant colour and Andrew 1679 provided it by bringing some red Cyclamen persicum on the back of his bicycle which we dotted around the edge of bed, vaguely reminiscent of red cats eyes along the edge of a UK motorway.
Work took me to Johannesburg this week so I stayed an extra day to learn more about local guerrilla gardening. To show me around I found Amanda 5637 and her fiancee Greg who generously spent the day giving me a whistle-stop tour of this city of contrast. First was an ornamental guerrilla garden of native plants by a busy motorway junction. Amanda had seen a man tending the plot and collecting donations from cars stopped at the lights. Today vendors were there instead selling sunglasses and they toldGuerrilla gardens of Johannesburg, South Africa
us their gardener friend Patrick had sadly recently died (though not while gardening I assume). Next was the boldly signed “Rasta Park”, an informal patch of grass, tubs and a palm enclose on the edge of Parkhurst. These patches on otherwise unremarkable ground were the exception in a city where the parks department takes great pride in planting central reservations and verges. In recent years they have replaced traditional European-style planting with native species that require much less water, such as the bold African Lily (Agapanthus africanus) and residents are replacing the grass nature strips outside their properties with natives too. In preparation for the spotlight of the 2010 World Cup the Greening Soweto project has been filling the old township with 1000s of new trees. But there are still plenty ofGuerrilla gardening at the Hector Pieterson Museum, Soweto.
opportunities for guerrillas! Outside Soweto’s Hector Pieterson Museum is a narrow earth strip that points towards the sight where Hector, aged 13, was shot. A metal plaque described the bed as being full of grass, but this has all gone. So I got busy with a packet of the only plants I had to hand - sunflower seeds - and used a biro to prod them into the soil. A security guard called Thomas soon came out quizically wondering what I was up to. He was delighted, I gave him another packet of sunflowers and he encouraged me to talk to the staff. They were pleased with the gesture and offered to water them.African Lily (Agapanthus africanus), Westcliff.

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