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NEWS: Engagement Location: Westminster Bridge Rd, London, SE1 Back in February 2008 I planted a cherry tree in our big guerrilla lavender shrubbery. Confetti Blossom
It was a gift from Claire 2812 and Stephen 2819
(one might have expected lilac from them) to mark their engagement. And now, like the confetti at a wedding, I’m glad to report it’s blooming brilliantly and even thought it’s an autumn flowering variety it still gives its main blossom in spring. What with the fresh red tips of the Photinia this corner of London is looking splendid already this year. Tulips next.Planting the cherry tree 5 February 2008
Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin'Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis'
Location: Elephant & Castle roundabout, SE1 Guerrilla Gardening: 25 March 2009 Budget: £107.74 This narrow strip along the bottom of a fence on the roundabout opposite my tower block is what I’d call a seasonal bed. I’ve only ever successfully planted annuals here, cutting away the weedy turf and sowing ridiculously easy nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) - which should you fancy it make a nice salad (I didn’t). My tentative digs here have been vulnerable to the occasional visit from an ad man who changes the hoarding above and ignores the bed beneathSecret Red Lettuces
Nasturtium Summer 2007Woops. An unexpected visitor in January
by plonking his truck stablisers on it unless the patch is in obviously tip top shape. So I decided a more permanent garden was needed here with more permanent and bigger plants. The first issue to resolve was the soil. It’s very shallow because the concrete foundations of the fence extend under the bed. So I stocked up with new top soil, peat-free compost and packed my string-on-sticks to cut the bed wider. At the appointed hour (roughly 8.30pm) Clara 005, Lyla 1046, Sunny 1600, Julia 2274 and I wheeled the old shopping trolley of ammo over the road and got digging, once again making elegant use of the ‘half moon’ spade to cut a neat edge. The police were soon there too but Julia and I saw them off with a few cheerful reassurances and got on with enriching the soil. As with the Steedman St dig earlier this month the planting scheme was a mixture of solely decorative plants and edible plants. Purple wallflowers (Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’) with aubretia made up the bulk, both are content in well drained soil, and both are perennials. In between we sowed lettuce seeds, red lollo rossa, that look great anyway, but amongst the purple flowers should be sufficiently disguised to be passed over by urban foragers (as if that was seriously a problem, neither humans nor slugs particularly like this part of the neighbourhood). Sunny brought along a small Azalea that she’d saved from the bins of the flower market (and we planted in a well of acidic soil which is likes) and we also found room for a couple of hollyhock (Althaea rosea). And even though we didn’t plant any more, like last year, there will probably be self seeded nasturtium appearing too. All in all an hour and a half front line action.
Jet Fire Bursts Into Life
Location: New Kent Road, London, SE1 Guerrilla Gardening: 22 March 2009 First we planted sunflower seeds (on 1 May,
International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening
Day), and last October during the Guerrilla Gardens of SE1 Guided Tour I got a group of new troops digging in ‘Jet Fire’ daffodils (small yellow ones with an orange trumpet). This are now flowering, and I returned for a long over-due tidy up of the dead sunflower stalks (potentially useful stakes) now that the heads have shed all their seeds to the winter wildlife and hopefully self seeded for this year.Planting the daffodils, 24 October 2008
It’s traditional to plant vegetables in neat rows. This evening that was are only option, as our new guerrilla garden was one thin brown line on a side street a few minutes from my flat. The soil was compacted and sunken, a puddle sat in one part, a few shoots of grass in another. It was a blank canvas. For the first time in a while I called up troops through the Community and had a force of ten, mostly newcomers, several of them evenGrowing A Thin Green Line
Before 9PMAbout 9.40PM
The morning aftermore local than me gathering outside the nearby Chinese restaurant at 9pm wondering what patch we were going to strike. The ground didn’t look promising to the uninitiated but once the crust was broken it proved rich, wormy and speckled with lumps of dark compost, the remains of root balls from long gone plants. I left to pick up more fresh compost and while I was gone the police arrived. Meike 122 took charge and reassured them our actions were with good intentions. One of the officers knew of our activity in the area and was aware his colleagues had become unfortunate celebrities for their appearance on camera threatening us with arrest last year. Their minibus drove off just as I returned, remarkably avoiding the whole awkward incident! We continued with confidence.
Primroses the morning afterJenny 4120 and Vanessa 6111
A student accommodation block is adjacent to this plot, and our gardening drew a small crowd of intrigued revelers. One girl joined in, another passer by stopped and gardened with us until we were finished. It was a text-book operation. The planting scheme was a mixture. As green bollards to give structure we used evergreen shrubs including Rosemary, Lavender and some unknown Australian conifers salvaged from last year’s Chelsea Flower Show and in the space between them we alternated between seed beds of parsnips and radishes and zig zags of Jerusalem artichoke tubers. And just to make it really clear this patch was now under new management we dotted clumps of cheerful yellow primroses. Then just a scattering of mulch and water and we were done. Post your own No Comments »  No comments yet.  RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment  Logged in as admin. Logout »  	 ruld		rurd 	        rulu		ruru       	       	       	       	       ruld		rurd        Warning: extract() [function.extract]: First argument should be an array in /home/rfdr99/public_html/wordpressblog/wp-includes/classes.php on line 566       rulu		ruru       	       	     * Pages           o About       	       ruld		rurd       rulu		ruru       	       	     * Links:           o Book: On Guerrilla Gardening           o Community: Global Forum           o Home:       	       ruld		rurd       rulu		ruru       	       	     * Meta:           o Site Admin           o Log out           o RSS           o Comments RSS       	       ruld
NEWS: The arrival of Spring in early March. Location: Around Southwark, London, SE1 Passing by my local guerrilla gardens on the way to work and stopping for an occasional litter pick was all the more rewarding this week because the first obvious signs of Spring are here. Crocus, Narcissi and at long last (after a three year wait) the rampant evergreen Clematis armandii has finally flowered! Here’s a roundup. Spring has sprung
Primula polyanthus 'Gold Black Lace'Clematis armandii
Lonicera x purpusiiNarcissus 'Jet Fire'
Location: East of the bridge, Totnes, Devon. Guerrilla Gardening: 17 February 2009. My grandmother is an inspiration to me. Her garden was a holiday playground, whether dancing round a sprinkler when I was little or wrestling with the rambling roses when I was a bit older. She’s helped out guerrilla gardening in London but at home in Devon her focus is on litter picking round her local recreational ground. It’s a chore the local authorities do not do enough for her liking, but one she sees as a healthy part of her weekly routine to get outGuerrilla Granny
Margot 623 with her litter picker stick
The morning afterof the house. But she’s been making plans to get back to the guerrilla gardening front line. She told me about a shabby triangular bed near her home, one the local council plant twice a year with sparse bedding but then abandon, she needed help to get it going. So on a recent visit I joined her for a night of action and planted a couple of Viburnum and a Golden Holly. Gardening alongside my 93 year old grandmother was great fun, not just because of all her experience but because it’s a pedestrian stopping spectacle. She even got a kiss from a stranger!
GG: 1557  Elise,  Rue Lhomond Paris, France  Elise wrote to me with news of two new guerrilla gardens she has planted in Paris.. “My name is Elise. I am a French woman, aged 71.  Sometimes last Spring, I heard on one of the French radios a report of your activities. I was immediately  delighted and interested, being by nature strongly independent and against any form of authority and  conformism. Challenging authority is for me a must  (with a wink & great pleasure for doing so !), I  know  it might sound stupid at my age, but this is  so ! So, I immediately sensed that Guerrilla Elise and her thriving tube of nasturtium
the oldest I know of), she’s French (a nation  notably reticent or secretive about their  guerrilla gardening) and she’s a lone woman (actually quite typical of guerrilla gardeners, but for those who didn’t know that, take her  confidence for horticultural combat in the early  morning around Paris’ 5th arrondissement as  inspiration.) Elise’s full report and more photos
be read here on the RSS feed of this blog.Guerrilla tulip bulb planting
Botswana is rich in natural beauty, precious creatures and diamonds. It is also increasingly vulnerable to environmental abuse and climate change. The rapid rise in wealth and urbanisation has created a culture of negligence for the local environment in the thriving capital , similar to the mood in industrialised countries in recent decades. The British Council there - keen to raise awareness of environmental issues - took to potentially controversial decision to invite me In Botswana Watch The Video
talk about guerrilla gardening and, more importantly, to bring my professional experience of communications planning, to environmental groups in the form of a day long seminar. My hope was to find some local guerrilla gardeners and understand more about the issues over there. And I did. Nkagisang 7229
Me and Gaborone guerrilla gardenersPlanting 50 native Fever Tree
Talking to Al Nur school assembly about the joy of gardeningThe British Council Management Express Green Week Environemtanl Communications Planning Workshop
came to one of my presentations and invited me to visit her guerrilla garden. It’s a huge extension to her own garden, on land owned by a judge! She grows vegetables (dinawa, spinach, rape, cabbages) in winter and grass in the summer, for pleasure, for business and for charity. Some of the food is distributed to children in an HIV clinic, some sold. The full story of her garden
and her guerrilla harvesting can be viewed onYou Tube here,Episode Six of my GGTV home movies.
Location: Stamford Street, London, SE1 (just over the river Thames from St Paul's Cathedral). Guerrilla Gardening: Tuesday 20 January 2009There is an air of death and destruction in gardens across the northern hemisphere in recent weeks because of startingly savage frosts (yes, even in bucolic central London). They finally put to rest the unseasonally cheerful sunflowers and nastursium plants and leftON THE LINE
The trusty old shopping trolley is good for wheeling tools and plants around my local guerrilla gardenAndrew 1679 stakes the line ready for edging The Sunflower Triangle
satisfying wake of mess to tackle and holes to fill. I stocked up with a few treats from a garden centre (spending prize vouchers from last years London Green Corners competition win yes siree) and left with pots that appeared to have nothing in them except for wet mud. They do of course hold herbaceous promise (Echinacea ‘Vintage Wine’ and ‘Sunrise’ as well as Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’ - do an internet image search if you can’t wait until summer). I also found some more immediate fillers, a couple of flowering Hellebores that are now at home in the Elephant & Castle. But mostly January is
Before. March 2007After the edging 9.29pm
a time to be tidying up not risking new planting. Plastic bags are particularly cloying and destructive plant stranglers in the rain and I have noticed, in this post Christmas detox period, that the count of fruit juice bottles, orange peel and banana skins is also on the rise (all those ads for healthy eating must be having a positive impact... just not on my gardens!) Now is also a good time to get pinickety about your lawn edging. I’m a great believer in clear demarcation for a guerrilla garden - it avoids confusion between a lawn mowing contractor and a plant growing guerrilla - I hopefully need not remind you of the devastating lossses of wild flower guerrilla gardens in London and Torre due to the difficulty of territorial demarcation. And so, with the edge of our Stamford Street guerrilla garden looking increasingly ragged I invested in a half-moon lawn edger and called up Andrew 1679 to be chief engineer. Edging well is all about the line. You can ensure it's straight by tieing string between sticks and cutting away the ragged edge along it. And the end result is a garden a little bit bigger than it was before!
Our scattering of old sunflower seeds has all been eaten or washed away now and, as Andrew 1679 put it,”I’m always leaving apples to go a bit soft”, so he brought along some for the birds. But this  was no ordinary apple, oh no, it was a guerrilla gardeners’ sunflower-seed-encrusted apple, proudly pierced through with the young twig of a local ash and trussed on white cotton string from the low branch of an organically grown rowan (as a TV chef might say). Step back and enjoy the birds as they flock to the garden for dinner time.Apple Snack

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