‘Lets fight the filth with forks and flowers.’ – Richard Reynolds

man throwing flowers

Technically, guerrilla gardening is a kind of graffiti or vandalism – done with plants instead of spray cans. It is illegal and is usually carried out under the cover of darkness by artists and/or activists. The targeted land is usually publicly owned or land that has been neglected by it’s owners, permission is rarely, if ever sought.

hidden sunflowers

Currently the main force behind illegal food growing in Britain is the guerrilla gardening movement.” Says Michael Hardman in his research presentation titled The Secret Life of Guerrilla Gardeners: Illegal Cultivation in the Midlands.

On the positive side – our world’s concrete jungles are transformed a little at a time into more brighter and beautiful places – all thanks to these gardeners of the night.

guerrilla-gardening

The average tool belt of a guerrilla gardener usually contains: A fork, hand trowel, spade, shears, seed bombs, plug plants (seedlings that you can quickly ‘plug’ in the ground), shrubs, fruit canes and plants that attract beneficial insects and the trusty moss paint, brush and stencils.

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‘Guerrilla Gardening’ was a term that has it’s roots back in the 1970’s and was all thanks to Liz Christy  and her Green Guerrilla Group in Manhattan. But the practice of illegally gardening or landscaping on others land is a lot older than you may think. In 1649 England Gerrard Winstanley  a religious and political activist, founded a group called the True Levellers who were known by their contemporaries as the Diggers in Surrey as a result of their activities. The Diggers were known to take over public land that had been privatised by way of hedges, ditches  or enclosures; and restoring the space by ripping out hedges, filling in ditches and planting crops. 1801 History also shows us John “Appleseed’ Chapman of Ohio USA can lay a claim to being an environmental activist through the planting and cultivation of Apple trees.

These days Guerrilla Gardening is more a form of creative expression carried out in an anonymous way. Other beautifying graffiti and temporal art forms can be seen on the city scapes for example the practice of yarn bombing, or paste up art (watch for the next post).
Another aspect of Guerrilla Gardening is moss painting. Below is a tutorial on how to make moss paint and some examples of use.

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There are many suppliers of seed bombs out there, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, seeds and colours……  (click on the images to be redirected)

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Or you can make you own from scratch, or using a kit.

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I don’t want to be a kill joy, but if you do want to carry out these sorts of activities PLEASE, don’t intentionally introduce foreign plants that could have pose and ecological threat to the enviroment. Do a little research first. Aim to beautify, not destroy. THANKS 🙂

 

Here are some snaps of Guerrilla Gardening in all it’s anonymous glory.

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Join the revolution

 

and beautify the

 

world  :p

 

 

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16 thoughts on “‘Lets fight the filth with forks and flowers.’ – Richard Reynolds

  1. loved this so much I had to share on my FB feed.. have several artist friends who will like it! I have to say I that this is one of my favorite blogs and just love the things you talk about and try out

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  2. Love the ‘paint moss’ idea, Pepper! As soon as the snow melts, I’ll go next door and collect some moss from their property (the building will be demolished within the year, to be replaced by a four-story parking structure!), and make some. I’ve got a few wonderful brushes, and may just go out and do some of this here in Chicago (hope and pray I don’t get arrested, please?). I have ‘art creds’, so perhaps I can convince a building owner…if I smile really BIG!

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    • try not to get arrested! As soon as we own a house I will adapt these techniques to my own garden by moss painting beautiful designs on the fence or garage wall. 🙂

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  3. very lovely idea…..I am a amateur gardener and love anything that involves plants, flowers and landscape design. Why not cover the dirt with beauty? One of these days I am going to blog about all of my landscape projects. They have been huge!!!!!

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  4. I like the idea and some of the results, but I could see the potential for it to be used irresponsibly too. Like if people used nonnative plants that are potentially harmful. I’m not sure, but I thought that large quantities of moss can be destructive to surfaces. I suppose, as with all things, people should inform themselves before undertaking it to make sure they do more good than harm. That said, some of it is really cool.

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    • You’re so right, Although I really hope people don’t use/wouldn’t use non-natives or anything that would be destructive but I suppose this is entirely possible. I understand the green movement to be about beatifying and restoring rather than destroying. However I agree with your statement people should have some idea of the ecological dangers and hope they are making seed bombs, gathering moss locally and responsibly so as not to introduce noxious weeds or foreign species of plant into their area’s.

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’ve now inserted a little plea in the main article to address this issue. 🙂

      Have a great day!

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      • Awesome! I would hate to see it become something police “crack down on” because people unknowingly made destructive choices. Thanks for the awesomely informative post, as usual.

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