Tuesday, 5 April 2011

GUERILLA GARDENING





Guerrilla gardening is gardening on another person's land without permission. It encompasses a very diverse range of people and motivations, from the enthusiastic gardener who spills over their legal boundaries to the highly political gardener who seeks to provoke change through direct action. It has implications for land rights, land reform. The land that is guerrilla gardened is usually abandoned or neglected by its legal owner and the guerrilla gardeners take it over ("squat") to grow plants. Guerrilla gardeners believe in re-considering land ownership in order to reclaim land from perceived neglect or misuse and assign a new purpose to it.

Some guerrilla gardeners carry out their actions at night, in relative secrecy, to sow and tend a new vegetable patch or flower garden. Some garden at more visible hours to be seen by their community. It has grown into a form of proactive activism or pro-activism.

History

The earliest record of the term guerrilla gardening being used was by Liz Christy and her Green Guerrilla group in 1973 in the Bowery Houston area of New York. They transformed a derelict private lot into a garden.[1] The space is still cared for by volunteers but now enjoys the protection of the city's parks department. Two celebrated guerrilla gardeners, active prior to the coining of the term, were Gerrard Winstanley, of the Diggers in Surrey, England (1649), and John "Appleseed" Chapman in Ohio, USA (1801).

Guerilla gardening takes place in many parts of the world - more than thirty countries are documented and evidence can be found online in numerous guerrilla gardening social networking groups and in the Community pages of GuerrillaGardening.org.

The term guerrilla gardening is applied by some quite loosely to describe different forms of radical gardening. This includes gardening as an entirely political gesture rather than one with genuine horticultural ambition, such as the London May Day protest in 2000, when no long term garden was expected to take root.

The term bewildering has been used as a synonym for guerrilla gardening by Australian gardener Bob Crombie.

1 comment:

  1. I read Johnny Appleseed to my kids so many times without knowing he was a guerrillero! Cool post!

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