Enlisting as a guerrilla gardener is up to you.
You're in, when you decide. It's a loose global movement. Some people go solo, some people gather supporters alongside them, other seek encouragement from afar to have their help in spirit. It's gardening without permission after all. That's it.
Keep a look out for guerrilla gardens in the real world, but it's very easy to find lots of examples online these days. Once upon a time it was not so visible, and I had to encourage people to come out from the shadows. I compiled many of them into mini case studies from people who contacted me to enlist: Troop Digs and I shared the stories of many more in my book 'On Guerrilla Gardening'. I continue to share what I come across mostly on Twitter @Richard_001 and more recently on Instagram @richard.reynolds
In the early years (the noughties, a time before social media and easy public digital connections) this website provided a bit incentive more than the simple incitement above. Read on to learn more about how Enlisting here used to work...
In the early days of organising digs I felt people needed to leave with something more than the satisfaction of gardening and the fun of meeting up. I had printed some simple brown "Troop Cards", a little 'members' card that reinforced the sense of comaraderie and fun. This was also before guerrilla gardening had become normalised, some people were anxious about their stories being shared, so a name and number provided partial disguise, in several cases, a made up first name too. People would pick any number they liked - my twin brother chose 007 - others picked a favourite date and didn't care. I gave myself 001 (of course), after all I'd organised the dig. That's how I became Richard_001 on Twitter . But of course there are many guerrilla gardeners who predate us.
Front Line News
When this site launched in 2004 enlisting online was the only way to help connect collectively guerrilla gardeners in digital space. There was no social media, I'd not figured out how to make a forum . So I'd send out a newsletter, dispatching batches by the hundred from Googlemail because if I sent more in one go Google would block me as a spammer. After a couple of years, as the list grew, this became unsustainable for me, and there were better ways to diseminate news which were also more easily interactive and shared.
Enlisting became much more useful to a visitor to GuerrillaGardening.org in 2007 because it gave access to a forum which a volunteer helped create. Social was still barely relevant. So the forum enabled guerrilla gardeners to have their own local message board to reach out and connect with likeminded people nearby, requesting help, sharing stories. I would create a new board for a geographic region when requested and that was it. Ever more far away and specific places were had a digital space. There were some passionate and very active users, and it was fascinating to meet people and discover activity in this space. It was however periodically plagued with unpleasant spamming, and despite the heroic efforts of Niloufer and Tampopo weeding away the mess there were still moments when the technology failed spectacularly. I struggled to keep it a safe place, and eventually closed it in early 2023.
The emergence of ever more appealing social media platforms from the late noughties enabled guerrilla gardeners to create their spaces and connect in a wonderfully more decentralised manner. Guerrilla gardeners could now rapidly create their own hubs and connections to fit their needs, and the role of this site as a hub slowly shifted to social too, both Facebook Guerrilla Gardening and Richard_001 on Twitter .