Guerrilla Planting

Week eighteen of ‘wake up’ and the crazy idea of guerrilla planting.

Apr 29, 2016

Cards on the table; I’m not a gardener. I tried to grow a sunflower once, it was given to me by a girlfriend many, many moons ago and she told me it was easy. So off to my mum’s back garden I went and planted the seeds. What happened? Nothing happened. This little incident put an end to any other gardening exploits I might have harboured (I didn’t have any to be honest). What happened to the relationship with the girlfriend? It just didn’t flower, ahem.

Apart from my parent’s home which ironically has a good size front and back garden I’ve never lived in a property that had a garden. Every other place I’ve lived in as either been a flat or an apartment and the house me and Sarah once had a mortgage on before changing jobs to a career in the pub trade was a terraced house with a back yard! So let’s be honest gardening has never held any interest for me. But, and there’s always a but, I loved the sound of this challenge. It was edgy and a bit naughty, taking me out of any non-gardening comfort zone I had – very typical ‘wake up’!

From the beginning of the challenge I saw myself in a Lewis Collins Who Dares Wins type role with the wonderful Laurie Johnson’s The New Avenger’s theme tune playing in the background of any escapade. At my age that could be dangerous! Especially for my back! I also saw my accomplice in this challenge – Bobby. Then the realisation and mathematical equation of; Bobby (a greedy Labrador) + seeds (if it smells or rattles in a packet Bobby thinks its food) + the dark = greedy little monster scoffs all the seeds in the dark while I’m trying to be discreet. AKA an empty bag of seeds and another story for the Bobby files (the files are bursting with skulduggery). So I was on my own with this one. Off I went to the nearest shop selling seeds…

And what did I find? Only a new world full of different colours, shapes and sizes and times to sow – fascinating, a science I thought. It was a baffling new world so I decided on planting flowers rather than shrubs or trees or anything to big. But what flowers to pick? The choice was massive. I was lost and decided I had a date with destiny; I chose a Sunflower! I also chose Sunflower Alchemy (how apt I thought) and a 6 in 1 collection pack consisting of some exotically named flowers; Calendula, Echium, Dahlia, Cosmos, Foxglove and the not so exotically named Cornflower. In truth I didn’t know what to pick apart from flowers that I could sow now.

Next came where to sow. I wanted to keep an eye on the progress so decided at the back of the pub, my little secret, and somewhere near to where I was buying an apartment at the foot of the Malvern Hills. Just the thought of this adventure was exciting. What if I was seen doing the sowing of the deed? “It’s for charity, mate!” I would say in my strongest Scouse accent. Full steam ahead…

My first port of call was the back of the pub. I scattered the Sunflower and Sunflower Alchemy seeds as discreetly as possible, crossed my fingers and hoped that sometime between June and September I would see some success. Then on the way from the pub to somewhere close to the apartment we are in the process of buying I spotted a little space that shouted out to me, “What about here?”

I hadn’t left the pub car park! But there was something about that spot that just needed brightening up a little. I can’t explain why it cried out to me but I decided on that spot and any sowing nearer to the apartment would have to wait. I hatched a further plan to guerrilla plant like a maniac the moment we moved into that area – yeah, yeah! (Queue The New Avenger’s theme tune). These ideas of guerrilla planting where infectious! I was starting to think of ways of taking over the world with my planting and handing out a packet of seeds to all the staff and getting them to join me in this anarchy. “Steady on Dr Green Fingers.” I said to myself.

The planting itself was very exciting and left me constantly looking over my shoulder as if I was up to no good. I couldn’t stop sniggering to myself. And then the deed was done, the seed was sown, my first ever guerrilla planting. I just had to wait now.

The thing is it didn’t really matter too much if it was a total success because it was just an exciting bit of fun that who knows could lead to some colourful magic for the benefit of not only the sower but also the rest of the community and that in itself is another ‘wake up’ connection to ourselves, the planet and to other’s. It was all a little magical experiment.

Mark Cuddy

Someone who learned to wake up


Vanessa over 3 years ago

Haha, brilliant post, Mark! The bees will thank you for your Sunflower Alchemy!

Ffi Ffi Trixibelle over 3 years ago

I hope your seeds flourish and you can then change your mind about being a gardener......;)

Mark Cuddy over 3 years ago

Vanessa, I love bees. There is something fuzzy-lovely about them. Fi, if there is any success with my planting I will defo start sowing all over Great Malvern! Thanks both for your encouragement, who knows where it will end. Watch out Alan Titchmarsh I'm coming for you with a big bag of seeds!

Vanessa over 3 years ago

Mark, you could hit the Malvern show - lot's of plant ideas and a fab artisan food and drink hall :-)

Mark Cuddy over 3 years ago

Ha, believe it or not we are going to the Spring Show. One of our regulars who works there gave Sarah a couple of tickets and we've pencilled in a visit this week. Who knows there might be something that clicks with me, you never know, I'm open to new ideas.

Chris Baréz-Brown over 3 years ago

Ha! Love that, strangely infectious...C x

Vanessa over 3 years ago

How funny! Hope you enjoy the show - my husband and I love it! Let me know if you buy anything green :-)

Mark Cuddy over 3 years ago

Will do, certainly got the weather for it.