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Dig and Dance: Brixton Road, SW9 London. Guerrilla gardening Friday 18 May 2007 Round the corner from the roadside planter we attacked with plants in March is a bar where Vinyl Matt DJs.  He invited me to share the turntables so it made sense to do some gardening while I was down there. With my tool case over one shoulder and a bag of LPs over the other together with five troops (Mike 054, Lyla 1046, Gemma 2273, Charlie 2429 and Rich 2923) we set about planting more sunflowers (Little Leo), cosmos and clearing a few of the weeds.  The scrubby lawns Guerrilla gardening at Bus Stop G on Brixton Road
opposite The Prince called “Tate Gardens” were too tempting not to also seed beneath the signpost. Then onto the pub.  Highlight of the set was playing a 7” of Robin Gibb’s “Trash”.Randy Crawford and The Crusaders Street Life other records and garden tools
Girasol (829) in Brussels, also known as “The Brussels Farmer” has declared 1 May as International Sunflower Guerrilla Day. So get out there and plant a sunflower in public space.  You will need a packet of sunflower seeds. Fill a bottle of water and find a neglected or tedious patch of land and dig a little hole about an inch deep Click here to share your dig that day
and drop one seed into it.  If you’re going for giant sunflowers space them about a foot apart.  Fill the hole and pour on a drop of water on it. Return occasionally, especially if the weather is dry, to water your sunflower. Post a photo on the Guerrilla Gardening  Community forumClick here to see the Brussels Farmer blog
This morning I found the contents of a roadside rubbish bin dumped on a flower bed I and other guerrillas have been tending. Crushed beneath were young primroses (Primula polyanthus), Ajuga (Ajuga reptans) and a battered foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) as well as a new bed of sunflowers (Helianthus annuus).  Drinks cans, cartons, crisp packets were piled high together with cuttings I had put in the bin the evening before. This has happened before but now I know this  unforgivable aggressive
act of vandalism is  undoubtedly the work of the Southwark Council sweeper I met last weekend. I was gardening in daylight and he approached me upset that his bin was full of litter and garden waste. I explained that most of what I clear from the beds is litter dumped by pedestrians and blown by the wind. He said only litter on the pavement was his duty and objected to taking away garden waste - even though I had neatly put it in the bin!  I appealed that we were both making the street tidy, reassured him I take most large waste to the city dump and agreed peace.  This is war!?
100m from MI5’s HQ are a row of old railway sleeper planters filled with a few old shrubs but mostly compacted soil and as we were to find out, lots of rubble.
Rosie posted a note on the Community suggesting and funding this dig, and so a few weeks later we gathered to strike.  3 men from Lambeth Parks department turned up, not to help, but to share their confusion as to who was responsible for the gardening in the area! (At least theyBefore the guerrilla gardening in VauxhallAfter the guerrilla gardening in Vauxhall on St Georges Day
were verbally supportive).  Out from the beds came sacks of stones and in went sacks of rotten manure and a red and white St George’s Day themed scheme of lemon thyme (Thymus citriodorus), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), a Rhododendron (Hybrid Red Jack), red perlagoniums, white peachbell (Campanula persicifolia) and red tobacco (Nicotiana alata). Water was provided by the neighbouring deli and Italian restaurant. The three remaining troops were invited in for a glass of wine and sandwiches.  This patch is local to some of us but we decided that we should tap into the local enthusiasm and so presented a delighted Lori, the restaurant manager, with a watering can.
Rosie hands over the watering can to Lori and other scenes from the guerrilla gardening dig on Albert Embankment
Project Twenty Five, Stamford St London. Previous regime of neglect: About 2 mows per year. Guerrilla Gardening 15 and 17 April 2007. Budget £275.73. Just strides from Blackfriars Bridge and within view of St Paul’s Cathedral is a triangular traffic island that had become a dandelion and tufty grass litter magnet with just a few old Cabbage Palms in it to remind us of the forgotten flower bed. We struck for a two evening weeding session, unearthing archaeological evidence (plastic markers) that Perlagoniums had been here. Instead we applied Andrew’s (1679) traffic
light themed colour scheme.  An avenue of eight  Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) and lots of Giant Sunflower (Helianthus giganteus) seeds surrounded the bed whilst drifts of Red Flax (Linum grandiflorum) were sown in the centre around clumps of red green and yellow Pieris (Pieris ‘Forest Flame’). Neighbouring security guards arrived carrying bananas (not as joke pistols but for us to eat), fruit juice and offered us use of their kitchen, water and WCs.  A great force of new and regular troops.The miserable weedy mess before we guerrilla gardened width=Click here to see more of Gavin Kingcome's photographs
Guerilla Gardening on Stamford Street
Project Fifteen: Stoke Car Park Plymouth.  Guerrilla Gardening 7 April 2007. We transformed one side of this neglected roadside bed last July and returned today to tackle the rest.  It was largely a family mission. I brought my mother (008) and Dorathea (2364) brought four of her family and lots of plants (including an old Cordyline that was only freed from its container after a battle of tug-of-war). Planting included Love-In-A-Mist (Nigella damascena), White Stone Crop (Sedum album) Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum), Pink Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Melissa), Foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) Elephant’s Ears (Bergenia cordifolia), Purple Sage (Salvia dorrii) and my grandmother’s Pieris that had outgrown her patio tub.The bare flower bed and the tug of war of guerrilla gardening in PlymouthGuerrilla gardening in Stoke, Plymouth Devon
Lizzie (002), Vicky (2769) and I planted some tulips in a roadside verge late one night back in November. I was in the area for the first time since then and found them in full boom. As I snapped a record with my camera and tripod the people from the white cottage next to them arrived home and were delighted to find out from where these mysterious red flowers had appeared. (Whilst not native they are not invasive). Guerrilla Gardening near East Portlemouth, South Devon with Emperor Tulips
Paul plants pansies (Viola) in public spaces to mark acts of homophobic attack.  What began as a guerrilla project now often gets funding from cultural establishments.  He called up for help planting 1000s of pansies as part of the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.  Some plants found home in tree pits others a temporary spot below walls and round bollards growingGuerrilla Gardening for the Pansy Project on Londons South Bank
in a damp sausage made from black stockings and bin liner.  Paul invited us to return and remove these temporary pansies so Lyla (1046), Clare (1971), Gavin (2881) crawled around the Maundy Thursday evening revellers and replanted them as guerrillas in the beds of London Road.Click here to see more of Gavin Kingcome's photographs
NEWS: Easter Weekend Blooming. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the bumblebees are gathering.  Here are photos of two triumphant guerilla gardens near me this morning.
Guerrilla Gardening on London Road with pansies and primula in full bloom
Guerrilla Gardening on Westminster Bridge Road with Emperor Tulips in full bloom

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