Thursday, July 3, 2008

Guerrilla Gardening Fights the Filth


Montreal Guerrilla Gardening - Before and After

For years, I took a commuter train through Queens to Manhattan. I would look out the dirty windows to the sad scene along the tracks. Trash, trash, trash. Complete lack of vegetation. Broken glass embedded in dried up soil. Chain link fences. Muck. (Sniff . . .)

Then, as we slowly chugged through Kew Gardens and Forest Hills, my mood would lift as I caught a glimpse of small gardens - planted up near the tracks' edges. I would crane my neck to take in every green detail. Somebody cared. And that act alone - made the difference.

Fast forward 10 years and enter: Guerrilla Gardening. These lovely souls conquer downtrodden urban spot after downtrodden urban spot to create little oases. Sometimes, it looks like they do it under the cover of dark. Oh, the thrill of it! My heroes. Go-go-go!

You can report on your own guerrilla gardening outfit here and see what others are doing 'round the world. Or pick up a copy of their book.

4 comments:

Clairwil said...

On Guerrilla Gardening is a fabulous book it's inspired me to transform a tiny rubbish strewn strip of land outside my flats. The results of which can be seen via the link below or on my blog.

http://www.squidoo.com/on_guerrilla_gardening

Melinda said...

I keep wanting to get involved in guerrilla gardening here. I walk past terrible looking terrain along the sides of the freeway here, and fantasize about throwing some native flower seeds in to see what happens....

Tracey said...

clairwil - Your link is awesome, awesome, awesome.

melinda - I have been thinking about it too . . . wishing I had a really good recipe for seed balls . . .

Charles Briggs said...

Awesome! I think it was in this spirit that some of the urban gardening projects in Berlin were founded, like the Prinzessinnengärten (http://www.smart-urban-stage.com/blog/future-of-the-city/city-soil/). When the going gets tough, the tough plant flowers and veggies. I love it.