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Happy (to be alive and well) Christmas TreesA mystery guerrilla Christmas Tree decorator has used an assortment of tinsel and baubles
An old sunflower seed head tied with red ribbon to a small spruce (a discarded Christmas tree from my flatmate's brother which we planted here last year)St George's Circus, London 2007 Baked slices of old orange and old pink ribbon decorate my first salvaged Christmas tree (since died)
Muswell Hill Road, London 2009A dreary council tree is modified by guerrillas with the addition of photos of local councillors - strung up / stars (depending on your political perspective)
Read more about them, click here
Just plain naked Westminster Bridge Road London 2008Kitchen foil wrapped around card, a bamboo and coat hanger St George's Circus, London 2008
Gardens On The MoveThe Mobile Veg Garden
The classic original shopping trolley on a regular maintenance mission around Perronet House, Elephant & CastleCustomized shopping trolley as bike trailer
Hat Gardens at Feast On The Bridge Southwark, 2009Location: Southwark, England and Lille, France. Gardening without a garden shed full of tools a few strides away is just one of the challenges of guerrilla  gardening. But lugging your materials around the  streets can become something of a carnival as well as a “carbon-negative” showcase for green travel, especially if you set about constructing an ingenious
set of wheels. Andy 287 built a fleet of specially  adapted canal-dumped shopping trolleys for this
year’s Feast on The Bridge. They were planted up as
vegetable gardens for the season but now two have  since been emptied of soil and put into service on  guerrilla gardening missions around the Elephant & Castle. Also at the Feast on The Bridge were Hat Gardens... and garden barbers, ready to give you a  quick snip or rinse if your thatch needed a restyle. Even more clever was the mobile living cafe I came
across in Lille made by Les Saprophytes. Their old
Les Saporphytes mobile Cafe Gardenshopping trolley had both a water tank, herb garden, stove and compost heap on board so you could brew a hot pot of mint tea and make use of the waste (sadly the stove was not yet powered by the compost heap’s methane but a butane gas cylinder!) The venerable classic trolley without any upgrade is still very useful, as displayed top right and below, where it was put to use on a  guided tour of guerrilla gardens around Southwark.
Integrated gas stove in trolley, Lille
An Evening's Dig By The BookA nieghbour spotted us and brought along several buckets of water
Lots more daffodil bulbs to dig in ready for springThe Rosemary and lavender we planted in March have done well over the summer
A garden centre gave us a spare shrubThe morning after
Photinia x fraseri 'Pink Marble'
Location: Steedman Street, London, SE1 Inspirational Visit: Wednesday 28 October 09 Sunny 1600 has been tending this narrow verge since we did our first big dig here in March. The Jerusalem  artichokes never materialised (perhaps due to over enthusiastic weeding!) but the herbs have done well.  With a last minute Twitter and Ning from me the  troops gathered for a bulb planting session, and the  dig went ‘by the book’ - no disruption, just appreciation, a neighbour spontaneously offered water, a cyclist  returned with more bulbs and a local doctor, extolled the virtues of gardening and nthusiastically expanded  our territory to include the near by tree pits too.  About 8.45PM
Guerrilla gardening in Steedman StreetAbout 8.45AM
Location: Wyndham Road, London, SE5 Inspirational Visit: Sunday 11 October 09 Phoebe has joined forces helping tend a few of my local guerrilla gardens, so I was delighted to return the favour when I heard she had spotted a potential plot near her home - in London that is how it works best: independent local guerrilla gardeners who occasionally swap labour and share resources. This afternoon was my second visit, for some light weeding and some heavy bulb planting - mixed tulips, daffodils, crocus. A season at Wyndham Road
AFTER. June 2009I stop for a snap halfway through planting the tulips
But best of all, it was a chance to hear how her season had been. I had not been there since April when we filled the planter with an assortment of seeds: sunflowers, cornflower, candytufts, and poppies. These had gone well, I’d seen photos, and Phoebe had stayed on top of the weeds, and after fighting a loosing battle with the wild mallow decided it was worth letting into the colourful party. But the best news was hearing of the interesting conversations that she ended up having with passers by. Despite the fairly bleak appearance of the neighbourhood it’s actually a friendly place, and as I have found, when you’re seen tending a garden, people do tend to either ignore you, or assume you’re a reasonably approachable person. She discovered that her guerrilla garden had not long ago been
someone else’s guerrilla garden. A resident of the neighbouring block had sown some seeds of the datura (a plant he had collected on holiday in Cyprus), but these had been strimmed away by the local authority. Nevertheless they returned, and grew amongst the wild flower meadow, and this time they escaped the council’s strimmers, who despite one attack in high summer spared the most floral plants in Phoebe’s garden. Two new locals introduced themselves to us this afternoon, recognising that we were probably guerrilla gardeners, and we learnt from one of a recycling depot who can offer us free top soil and compost!Lyla, Sarah and Phoebe planting bulbs in the bed
A passer by stops to share some adviceExpansion to a new plot. BEFORE April 2009. The Datura returns
Location: Todmorden West Yorkshire Inspirational Visit: Saturday 5 September 09 If you want to see what the guerrilla gardening approach can achieve when applied with bucket loads of optimism, resourceful opportunism, a very bold objective (self sufficiency for the town within a decade) and an enthusiasm to reach out into the rest of the community then go and visit Todmorden. That’s the formula, though it is hard to bottle (it comes naturally here) for the best guerrilla veg gardening I’ve seen within the UK if you measure the scale and the impact Incredible Edibles Todmorden
the Incredible Edibles are now having both
Helena and Nick with guerrilla courgettesGuerrilla grown runner beans outside Harold Shipman's derelict health centre
within their town and far beyond. Within the group Nick 5593 is the one who has used the guerrilla gardening approach most and it was not until a year after we first spoke that I invited myself to see the gardens. He and his partner Helena kindly put me up for the night. I arrived in the dark but we stayed indoors that evening feasting on pizza (with some local guerrilla veg garnish of course) exchanging experiences and finding common ground between my usual domain of Harvesting their crops of artichoke and raspberry
densely populated south central London and this small rural town in the foothills of the Pennines. What I saw the next morning on a long and comfortingly drizzly tour around the town exceeded all I had heard. What started as the surreptitious addition of herbs and veg to a roadside garden has over recent years spread into the town park and abandoned flowerbeds around a derelict health centre (the one where Harold Shipman, the serial killer doctor used to The first guerrilla garden in Todmorden
Nursing home herbsNick in his workshop with a new raised bed
practice). What the Incredible Edibles have been doing is using their guerrilla gardening as one of several different steps towards achieving their objective. Sometimes they do things with the system, sometimes they work around it, and sometimes they ignore it. Guerrilla gardening has showed people the possibilities of making a more edible landscape, demonstrated their commitment and provoked people to notice. Their work has inspired others to plant edibles - the police have fruit trees outside their station, the nursing home has welcomed Nick to plant raised beds that now provide some food for their Vegetable garden on the edge of the nursing home
kitchens. Although most of their work has now been legitimised by a supportive local council, when the need strikes for some guerrilla action, Nick does it is. Recent approval to replant the new health centre’s car park with edibles faced a potential stumbling block when the official who had approved was fired days before planting was due. News got round fast so the planting was brought forward and the cherries went in that weekend. Any possible objections would have required uprooting more than just the proposal, and the trees stayed.New health centre cherry
Cllr Christopher WellbeloveMeet The Guerrilla Mayor
in all his blingLocation: Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton, London. Guerrilla Gardening: Thursday 10 September 2009 Readers of this blog will have heard of guerrilla councillors, well I have now met my first guerrilla gardening mayor. Cllr Christopher Wellbelove outed himself at a speech at this year’s Lambeth Estates In Bloom Award, the council’s annual event to award enthusiastic gardening residents on their housing estates. He talked of sowing sunflower seeds in neglected spaces and even in a few shabby gardens, as he walked around canvassing. He is keen to embrace the
Click here to Twitter the mayorenthusiasm of guerrilla gardeners in his borough, (I live over the border).
The 2009 London Guerrilla Gardening Lavender HarvestGuerilla Gardening Lavender Harvest
The staff of Stockholm's Kulturhuset, on a research trip in London, prove an enthusiastic force.
Location: Westminster Bridge Rd London SE1 Visit: Monday 31 August 2009 Once again, for the fourth year now, we set out on bank holiday Monday to harvest the glorious field of lavender we planted on the border land of Southwark and Lambeth. The weather was The harvest continues
perfectly baking and the fragrant oils filled the air as we grabbed, twisted and chopped our way across the traffic island. Swelling the ranks were fifteen staff from Sweden’s leading cultural establishment, who had called round to my flat for a briefing before enthusiastically getting their hands dirty. The rest of us were almost taken a back at the speed with which the visitors did the job. The crop will now be dried ready for stuffing into this year’s crop of lavender pillowsThe lavender in July 2009
which will be sold here. Place your order now

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