How to… go guerrilla gardening

How to… go guerrilla gardening

Have you ever walked past a piece of unused land near your house that’s full of weeds or rubbish? Wouldn’t it look much better full of flowers and plants? That’s where guerrilla gardening comes in. Armed with trowels, shrubs, watering cans and torches, groups of green-fingered enthusiasts descend upon orphaned land and transform it into a flourishing garden.

How to…

  1. Pick your spot. Find an unloved public area, in need of some cultivation. Start with something small, but dream big.
  2. Recruit. Find some likeminded and enthusiastic people. Late night gardening is quicker and more fun in a group.
  3. Stock up. Get hold of some bulbs/shrubs/herbs, ideally hardy plants that will look after themselves. Some compost (preferably homemade) can help give the plants a kick-start.
  4. Pack the essentials. You’ll need some sensible shoes or wellies, a good pair of gloves, some forks/spades, and bin bags for removing the weeds and rubbish. Oh, and don’t forget the water – newly planted greenery needs hydration.
  5. Get digging. Set a date and do it. Remove the rubbish, weed and de-stone the ground, dig it over (adding any compost) and then get planting.
  6. Make a clean getaway. Don’t forget to tidy up after yourself, removing all rubbish. If you’re travelling far, a car can help with transporting your equipment, and means you can keep a lower profile than walking along, spade in hand.
  7. Let people know. Stick up a poster, a label in the ground, or some fliers through nearby doors.
  8. Care and maintenance. Plants need looking after and watering, so don’t forget to make return visits to check on how your garden is doing.

(Doodle by Sara Wallen)

For more information and to find local groups see the Guerrilla Gardening website, and of course please garden responsibly, choose non-invasive plants and look into the legal issues before you get your trowels out.

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