After May 1st International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day, and reading Richard Reynolds Guerrilla Gardening book, I was inspired to take up this hobby. However, I have to admit I failed miserably. I did plant sunflower seeds. They did germinate. But the great Redbridge Council decided to send out a man with a weedkiller hose, destroying my crop of burgeoning flowers. I was gutted, but in all fairness, to the untrained eye those sunflowers could have been weeds. However, surely a tree pit covered in green weeds is better than a barren soily landscape?
So, whilst International Tulip Guerrilla Gardening Day, which was held on the 9th October, passed me by, I finally made it out to my new guerilla garden today to get twenty bulbs planted. I’m hoping that tulips will be more obvious than sunflowers, and that my plant killing council member will avoid spraying them with toxic chemicals. Meanwhile, the softly softly approach is obviously the wrong method. Rather than growing plants in situ, I need to take a more radical step and attack the bed one night and fill it with flowers so that the council can see that they are indeed plants, not weeds!
So, this is my guerrilla garden. By posting on The Guide to Gay Gardening I hope that’ll it’ll also prove a driving factor to actually go out and work it. Twenty bulbs have gone in, California poppies are being geminated, and carnation and lavender cuttings have been taken. So lets hope, over the next year, this tree pit becomes some more extravagent than its current bleakness.
A traditional Bank Holiday Weekend pouring means that for many gardeners, though keen to use the three day window to clip, sow, mow and prune their havens, the house has become their perpetuated habitat. Drumming droplets, echoing ‘plops’ and the soft tapping of a thousand streamy fingers, and though slowly rooting into my sofa, my heart is pretty content. The allotment, my client oasis’s, my own backyard, have badly needed some life-blood, and though trips to the hen-house have been rushed and wet, in only a few days the reward will be apparent through a tide of fresh new leaves and buds.
However, Saturday 1st was International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day, the green-fingered war, and though the skies rained down the first chapter of the South Woodford clan met in utter secrecy. Armed with seeds, fork and dog to allow for some inconspicious cover, a trio took to the streets. And whilst the pounding of a bassline, the roar of traffic and the truly startling attempts at some locals to pamper and preen themselves into glamorous looking ‘ladies’ attempted to taint the atmosphere, a fine swathe of sunflowers were spread across the banks and tree pits to make me smile, and hopefully others too, on my way around the neighbourhood. Whilst I doubt the orange, lipsticked stilleto’s from the club will notice my attempts at all, the coming months should see the emergings of some true glamorous beauties towering high, natural models of the world.
Meanwhile, it has been brought to my attention by Sean at Me and My Allotment that Saturday 8th May is – wait for it – World Naked Gardening Day! The sixth anniversary of this event, it is a chance for gardening folk to express themselves more deeply to mother nature, throwing off clothes and revelling in the opportunity to go back to their true, as Earth intended, identities. The Naked Gardeners at Abbey House Gardens already spend all their time nude, allowing fellow naturists and gardeners to visit their home and experience the advantages. Meanwhile, already gardening barefoot when I can, I love how the ground feels below a bare sole, the warmth, the texture, the energy. And though I may not, in a smaller, overlooked, London garden, be brave enough to bare all, I intend to at least wear as little as possible. And for those that do go the whole way….beware the prickly pyracantha, the nettles the thistles and spikes and bristles, for a thorn in the wrong place, well, I suppose at least a story to tell after six pints of beer.
Troops, war is upon us. Dust off those balaclava’s, sharpen those hand forks, prepare those seed bombs and ready those nimble fingers, for we are about to witness an epic battle that will rage around the world. Under of cover of darkness hundreds no, thousands, will scuttle city streets literally sowing the very foundations of a rebel cause to claim back the Earth. May 1st is no longer simply May 1st, it is a day of glory, of victory, of unadulterated green fingered bliss, May 1st is the International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day 2010!
Guerrilla Gardening is not a new phenomenon, but an underground cause that has been raging for decades. First coined in 1973 by Liz Kristie, a New York resident, the word quickly spread around the world that in countries near and far people were doing exactly the same thing….claiming back Earth’s green patches. Seed bombing verges, pimping pavements, turning entire wastelands into lush, thriving gardens, guerrilla gardeners have been stamping their green fingered approval on projects for years. More recently brought into the modern media by Richard Reynolds, writer of On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening without Boundaries, thousands of youngsters, and me, have been inspired to get out there and take part.
So, with May 1st quickly approaching, grab some sunflower seeds, prepare your attack, and sow the glorious yellow shining beacons of happiness all over your neighbourhood! I’ll be out in London’s East End, lets light up London with the Sunflowers!