Make a donationTroop Digs

Fight The Filth

Going on holiday is no excuse to stop guerrilla
gardening.  I packed my trowel and headed for Libya, wondering whether Colonel Gadafi’s revolutionary regime would tolerate or perhaps
participate in our revolution as well.  Libyans fly a green flag, and read The Green Book but are not well known for their love of gardening. Tripoli has leafy lined streets that stretch outPack a trowel when going on holiday. Qaies signs up for guerrilla gardening
Littering in Libyafrom the densely packed old medina. Mussolini built these in the 1920s.  But now in places where once there stood trees are square holes of muddy litter and weeds. Steve (007), Mike (054) and I found a tiny weedyRichard Reynolds gardening in Libya
pavement planter near the centre.  Buying a plant was the most difficult challenge, as the nurseries are all out in the suburbs.  I eventually persuaded a souvenir dealer to diversify and sell me one of his own decorative succulents.  And so we returned to the plot for attack. Two men were now standing near by so Mike engaged them in distracting conversation.  One of these, Qaies (2408) not only turned out to speak good English but to also be in charge of the local Revolutionary Youth Committee.  And byGuerrilla Gardening in Tripoli, Libya
good fortune their community centre was next to our dig.  He was delighted by our gesture and agreed to care for our new planter.  We were invited in for a tour, and Qaies signed up as the Colonel smiled down on us.
Pam (184) had the bright idea to harvest the 
lavender we planted last year on the Lambeth Southwark border to make fragrant pouches, and raise some much needed funding.  Sol and I spent a December afternoon printing six metres of bright red linen with our logo and a little description of the contents, ready for the 
final sewing up and sale.  To hear when and where they will be on sale enlist as a troop.Sol Nicholson printing guerrilla gardening lavender bag fabric in Brixton
Patti 1253 gave us a 7 foot Christmas tree in June which has been growing in Southwark as the centre piece of our wide crescent shaped bed.  With little to do these few weeks than clear leaves and litter Gary (728), Kate (2224) Lyla (1046) and Meike (155) spent an evening at at mine
The Guerrilla Gardening Christmas Tree at St George's Circus
drinking mulled wine and making Christmas tree decorations out of sliced oranges, chilli peppers, cotton rags, tin foil and an old coat hanger.  A few days later they were up on the tree. Do add more if you’re passing.
Project Four:  London Road, SE1, London. Guerrilla Gardening: Sunday 26 November. Margot (623), who also happens to be my 90 year old grandmother, joined the front line this evening outside Perronet House for a big clear out of rubbish and the wild and rampant Periwinkle.  In its place we planted an expanse of white Narcissi, a spread of snowdrops (dug up from Pam’s garden last spring) and some wall flowers. David (1630) a student journalist, recorded a radio interview and took some moreGuerrilla gardening outside Perronet House, Elephant & Castle
snaps which you can see at his blog here.
Troop Dig:  East Portlemouth, Devon. Guerrilla Gardening: Friday 24 November. It took the challenge of torrential rain, and the dutch courage of an evening in the Pigs Nose pub to persuade Lizzie (002) and Vicky (619) to guerrilla garden.  We were in East Portlemouth, in deep Devon, and stopped the car to dig up a T-junction and improve it with three large clumps of red tulips and a small forthysia cutting.  It took about ten minutes.  Now go plant some bulbs too, and add the dig to the GG map!Lizzie 002 and Vicky 619 guerrilla gardening in East Portlemouth
Project Seventeen: Manor House, N4
Guerrilla Gardening: Tuesday 21 November. This project had inadvertently became orphaned again since our August dig.  The local guerrillas did not keep on top of the litter and weed clearing, and so our herb garden was raided leaving weeds and cans to sprout in their place.  With new local troops recruited we returned with a more durable planting scheme.  100 red tulip bulbs were buried out of sight and a van load of Bergenia from Maria (1621) filledGuerrilla gardening in Manor House, North London
the rest of the bed. Posters with news of the dig were stuck up near by.Tulips and Bergenia spruce up a brick planter near a bus stop at Manor House
Project Five:  St George’s Circus,  SE1, London
Guerrilla Gardening:  Monday 13 November. Of all the projects this one is the most exposed to fierce wind tunnels and roaring buses.  One side of the bed is ravaged bare by the wooshing traffic the other piles high with drowing leaves. So we arrived to bag the leaves, the litter and plant a few Christmasy shrubs with bright red berries.  A quick half hour in the garden was followed by a visit to the pub.  On the way we passed by a curious man in a long black coat who was also picking up leaves from the roadside.  I introduced myself to this fellow guerrilla, who turned out to be an artist harvesting the produce of public space.Leaf collection at St George's circus
An evening of high drama in the Elephant
& Castle, destruction and discovery.  First Sam (076) arrived with a truck and a chain saw to help the rest of us hack back at the over grown shrubbery, and then we found a mixing desk hidden in the undergrowth. A while later a passer by came up to ask
if we had found a case in the bushes, so we handed it over. With lots of space and light cleared and bags full of garden waste we added in Christine’s (1625) hydrangeas and Gilliean’s (068) yellow standard rose.Chopping budlea on London Road outside Perronet HouseSam Moon (076) from City Garden Services arrives with his chain saw
The shrubbery outside Perronet House, London Road, Elephant & CastleA mixing desk is discovered by the guerrilla gardeners
Guerrilla Gardening, Princess Street, Friday 10 November. Some of my first guerrilla gardening attacks were on the concrete tubs in Princess Street.  They sat as dry, barren litter bins.  Over the last two years they have suffered from more plant vandalism (of the destructive kind) than any other location, but also more some unexpected turf warfare between competing guerrillas.  First Joe (601) was spotted planting a forthysia. That was OK, but when weeds sprung up around it, and he showed no interest in holding his ground from the ravages of neglect (or my threats of reclaiming it) I struck and popped in a few pink cyclamen.  All good?  Well... a day later I discovered my other tub had been dug up and planted with a splendidly impressive wispy tree.  I assumed this was a revenge attack by 601 for me meddling  with his tub, but he denies it all.  So who out there has taken my violets?  Please stand up.Guerrilla Gardening Princess Street Elephant & Castle AGuerrilla Gardening Princess Street Elephant & Castle B
Guerrilla Gardening: Thursday 2 November. Another comb of weeds and litter at our flagship dig in Lambeth, popping in some more red tulips as we went.  Keeping track of where they’ve been planted in our force of democratic anarchists is a little tricky so we’ll just have to wait and see which parts of this bed are swathed in red blooms in the spring time.  Passers by once again tookinterest and locals expressed thanks.  We have decisively won hearts and minds
Project Nineteen: New Cross Road, London. Guerrilla Gardening: Thursday 26 October. Budget: About £200. Tim (035) nominated this orphaned land in the forum, and within a few weeks we responded to his call and came to save this
Guerrilla Gardening in Lewisham.  The police pay us a visit
giant brick planter.  Digging the weeds out revealed a voodoo sacrifice of chicken bones and teaming clumps of merry earth worms.  Barrows of top soil arrived from Spittalfields urban farm in a giant van, a Washingtonia palm came on a bicycle tied
to Andrew’s (1679) back, Tim brought Phormium and a small olive tree suited to the urban heat island, and we filled in the rest with winter flowering cyclamen and pansies.  Our first guerrilla gardening dog joined in for an hour or so and a local shop keeper and his daughter greeted us with a tray full of coffee and chocolate bars. My fourth brush with the police turned into a heart-warming unofficial endorsement, they knew exactly who we were and hoped like us it would all survive. An ornamental penguin was found in the mud and is now for
sale on eBayPlease place a bid by clicking here. The proceeds will go towards more guerrilla gardening.

For blogs earlier in the year clickFor blogs earlier in the year click here