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Seed Bomb Guide
Location: Mortimer Road, London, NW10 Guerrilla gardening: Wednesday 10 March 2010
I joined Kensal Green Guerrilla Gardeners forThe Green
a spruce of their twin beds. I brought a Hellebore and Niloufer 059 came with lots of for-get-me-not seedlings and grape hyacinths that have been joyfully running riot in her back garden. The work of Brent  Council was evident too for the first time (little of course needed doing as we’d taken that on). It was  great to see the old wall had been repaired but a  little disappointing to see three trees had been felled. Mortimer Road NW10
My old Alpine plant collecting case is ideal for transporting sharp hand tools discretelyIn goes the Hellebore niger, perfect for this shady patch. And it'll self seed slowly and spread
Water supplies and young seedlingsWhat are the council up to? This tree has been left as a giant stump
There is an exceptionally rare but perhaps inevitable side effect of the growing popularity of guerrilla gardening - another guerrilla gardener might dig your guerrilla garden! It first happened to me years ago when a tub I’d unambitiously filled with violets was replaced with a far more striking clump of bamboo. I was happy to give ground and share the space, especially as after a bit of detective work I discovered it was the work of my new next-door neighbours! But more Insurgency! The late lamented Californian poppies gaining ground last April
In goes a Cynara cardunculusCrocus survive the clear out and subsequent land slides
recently this side effect of gardening public land in a fairly unorganised way has been more difficult to resolve. Don’t let this put you off, I see this as evidence of success, but I can’t help feeling a little territorial! I first noticed this anonymous guerrilla’s work last summer. In a patch several of us had been tending for more than 3 years were a couple of unexpected tomato plants. These were definitely not the inadvertent outcome of a stray tomato, they were new plants and I was happy to leave them to thrive.Later in the season the hand of this mysterious guerrilla was evident again as the clumps of young photinia were pruned days before I was due to do the same. Again, I thought, this is great. But then disaster struck. The quiet enthusiasm of this insurgent turned to destruction... the expanse of young seedlings of Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica) that has been slowly establishing over the last eighteen months in an ever denser expanse in the gravelly soil around the edge of the patch was all cleared away.
Perhaps they looked like weeds? Regardless, the giant golden ring we would have enjoyed this spring was gone. And to make matters worse, the “weeding” left mounds of freshly turned soil which was subsequently washed away in muddy little land slides. Nevermind. Such are the challenges of guerrilla gardening. I can see how whoever did this felt there was work to be done. I set about re-establishing my visible contribution to this territory by planting some very obvious bits and bobs far less likely to be mistaken for weeds: a raspberry cane, a spiky cardoon, two bright yellow lemon thyme, three oriental poppies and a clump of rhubarb, although of this the only thing visible is a little plastic marker. If you
have any clues as to who this mysterious guerrilla might be pleaselet me know. I want peace,
Location: Kew Bridge Eco Village Guerrilla gardening: 14 February 2009 Since last June a substantial plot of derelict  land in west London has been occupied,  by a bold group of activists who have named ECO VILLAGE
the space Kew Bridge Eco Village. Behind
a high blue fence and earth work of rubble is an expanse of Butterfly Bush scrub land dotted with elaborate bric-a-brac tents which
was invited to talk about guerrilla gardening in the cosy hexiyurt as part of the community
open day seed swap. Though of course I wasVisit their site: Kew Bridge Eco Village
preaching to the converted here because  guerrilla gardening was happening all around us, in raised beds and trails of flower pots  along the ribbon of wood chip pathway that linked the huts and as spots of fruity promise cut into the scrub. What I shared was the  broader context, the hope and risks of other guerrilla gardens and a raspberry plant. What Seed bombs in production
I learnt, was that this sustainable eco village is  not simply a glorified allotment of regimented winter vegetables but has a more complicated place in the local environment. Their links with  the wider community are crucial, they are not an isolated bubble, but are both evangelical to the outside world and reliant on it. The most prolific crop growing was not edible at all, but woad, a traditional source of blue dye, and  there to provide face paint for when St George the developers arrive to reclaim their land. An expanse of woad to be used as war paint in any battles with developers
In goes a new raspberry caneKew Bridge Eco Village welcome
Location: Princess St, London, SE1 Guerrilla gardening: 14 February 2009 This trial was of my own making, to see how  practical it would be to work with my local  authority. Although for many reasons I prefer  a self-sufficient approach, I was keen to  understand the other way. My online  application for help from the “Cleaner Greener Safer” fund was for some large tubs and fruit trees Ten months on what have I  learnt from the one experiment?  1. It takes a long time to achieve very little., so apply for far more than you expect to get. The Trial
£3000 spent on just 3 new tubs and soilChris 2041 mixes in top soil and compost in advance of an apple tree and Lily of the Valley
2. My local authority (Southwark Council) is unfortunately now dominated by a culture of
fear and so a lot of money was spent on
mitigating some very unlikely risks: three  neighbourhood surveys, one surveyor’s report  and one fire safety officer’s review of my very modest proposal for just a few small tubs!  3. Front line staff are wonderfully patient, long  suffering and resourceful within the constraints.  4. It is easier to get some people in the local  community working with you when you have  the blessing of the local authority... but use the aura of legitimacy to get them guerrilla  gardening! To dig in a legitimate tub is not very different to digging in one which is not. Preparing to plant rhubard!
Pimp Your Pavement
Seedy & Weedy SundaySeedy Sunday 2010, Hove Centre
Location 1: Seedy Sunday, Hove Centre, BN3  Location 2: Stamford Street, London, SE1 Guerrilla gardening: Sunday 7 February 2010
Seedy Sunday in Hoveis an annual seed swapGuerilla gardeners defy security chain
England. This year they invited me to give a slide  show, which was brought to life by two local guerrilla gardeners who joined me at the front. Lewes Road Community Garden stall
Jan from Lewes Road Community Garden gaveGuerrilla Gardening Brighton
Chris 7681, a passionatesolo guerrilla, shared
in the hall Lyla 1046ran the stall and sold books.
The place was packed full of interesting people and plants, including a tree nursery masquerading  as policemen. Back in London Andrew 1679  called for a weeding session at the established  plot just south of Blackfriar’s bridge, which Lyla  and I were just back in time for along with two enthusiastic newcomers. The season has begun. Special Branch Tree Nursery table
Books For SaleSeed Swap This Way
White Out!
Wallflowers on the Elephant & Castle round about guerrilla garden
Elephant & Castle Guerrilla Garden 13 Jan 2010The arrival of snow at St Georges Circus guerrilla garden
Elephant & Castle Guerrilla Garden 29 April 2009Perronet House shrubbery 29 May 2010 to 13 Jan 2010

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