Week 18: Guerrilla Gardening

Seeds, intention and tenacity...

May 02, 2016

Well was I an environmental anarchist intent on bringing colour to the less nurturing parts of my community? Well not really. Where I live most places are cared for or beautifully wild. I look out of the bedroom windows at the back of our house and the Yorkshire Dales are there in all their beauty. I honestly think that because we live surrounded by the awesomeness of nature here, we really do look after the greenery that is all around us.

Interestingly the value we place on the welcoming colour of nature is causing controversy. The council can no longer fund the plants that adorn our local town centre. Businesses have contributed to this in the past, but now there is stalemate between business and council: who will continue to pay and maintain? We actually have completely empty flower beds in the main street of shops as this issue cannot be resolved. Councils are in a funding crisis and these flower beds are seen as luxuries. I can see their point, but our spaces for natural colour are so precious. These are the places that visitors feel they are entering somewhere special, those having their lunch hour find some peace, parents bring children and the isolated feel connected to an environment beyond their four walls. Perhaps in this time of austerity this is how communties can take the intiative and come together to create something ever evolving and changing with the seasons? Real guerilla gardening would be doing just this and filling those beds up: they may not be as regimentally ordered as before but they may be much more interesting! I would love to say that I am the woman for the job - harnessing a team of willing volunteers to make our mark through nature. Perhaps I could go and plant one plant and see how long it takes for others to follow?...

Anyway, I did sow some seeds in my back garden and over my fence into a field. I felt very much like a Thomas Hardy character as I waved my arms in sweeping gestures wondering if any of these little grains packed full of life-energy might actually make it! I will wait in anticipation to see if they are tenacious enough to make it through our erratic Yorkshire spring weather. It didn't take long but it was a bit of fun and I am now genuinely hoping they make it! If they do I will have the memories of Wake Up! every time I look outside...and that's one reason to give this a go: it is a little ritual to say 'Yep I am here and still having a go at new things and isn't it really quite joyful!'


Mother, wife, daughter, teacher...

Firmly stuck in the 'sandwich generation' category, I am 46 years old and looking to shake things up a bit! I am a teacher, which I love - but it takes over your life! A mother of three - two daughters, 16 and 15, a son aged 11. Wife to Simon for 19 years. Carer for rather eccentric mum, aged 89.


Vanessa over 3 years ago

Guerilla planting your empty public beds sounds like a fab idea! Maybe the school could co-ordinate it - each child brings one plant or pack of seeds! It would be a riot of colour if nothing else!

Jacqui over 3 years ago

I am really thinking about it but so much more official when actual public space though. Will definitely look into it!

Mark Cuddy over 3 years ago

I'm with Vanessa on this one, I think you have a great opportunity with your role in the community and could make all the little brats, erm I mean lovely children, a project of some sort that could help within the community. If it costs the council next to nothing and it's good PR they'll be well in to it. Whatever happens good luck with your planting. All the best Mark.

Jacqui over 3 years ago

I will definitely look into it!

Ffi Ffi Trixibelle over 3 years ago

What a wonderful idea...x

Chris Baréz-Brown over 3 years ago

Fantastic idea Jacqui, this link inspired me http://abundancelondon.com/. C x

Vanessa over 3 years ago

Jacqui, I just walked by an empty planter in the middle of town - guess what naughty thoughts you've inspired...

Vanessa over 3 years ago

Jacqui, I just walked by an empty planter in the middle of town - guess what naughty thoughts you've inspired...