Guerrilla Gardening News: 26 January 2007

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Guerrilla Gardening News: 26 January 2007
« on: January 26, 2007, 05:03:47 PM »
This is the mailing list news letter from 26 January.  I had quite a few messages bounce back this time by troop's anti spam filters, mostly from Hotmail.  So in case you didn't receive the letter, here it is:

Dear Troops
In this month’s briefing…
        - AND FINALLY…

AUSTRALIA:  Australia is enjoying a splendid summer (and today is Australia Day) and now guerrilla gardened pumpkins are growing on a roundabout in Paddington, New South Wales.  It’s a project that began in November and I came across the “Guerrilla_Gardening” page for it on MySpace.  The profile is full of pictures and plans to make a Pumpkin risotto, a splendid example of a guerrilla gardener spreading the word.  She is also really popular with “332 friends”, (I have 39). There’s a link to it from the Australia Guerrilla Gardening Community Board:
BERLIN:  Juju (013), a leading guerrilla gardener in Berlin visited London for a week this month to linking up with guerrilla gardeners all over London.  In between some late night gardening and lots of interviews I found time to catch up on the long history of big achievements in Berlin.  Juju has two guerrilla gardens to her name, not just colourful road-side verges but two large derelict plots that have become significant community gardens, much like the guerrilla gardens in 1970s New York.  Postings and links to these are on the German Guerrilla Gardening Community Board and on the Troop Digs page:
CANADA: The inaugural dig of a new Vancouver Guerrilla Gardening group meets TOMORROW!  Braving broad daylight, you can find out more details on the Vancouver Guerrilla Gardening Community Board:
FRANCE: Emmanuel (2228) has been in touch about his guerrilla gardening projects in Paris.
LIBYA:  Waving the green flag, the guerrilla revolution has reached Libya (sort of).  I visited the Greaet Soat People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in December.  First I signed up a Tourag teenager in an internet café in Ghadames and later got stuck into a scrappy pavement planter in Tripoli just before Christmas.  With just one splendid succulent pot plant prized reluctantly from a souvenir seller we set about clearing a patch in Al Baladiyah Street. Mike (054) charmed passers as Steve (007) and I gardened.  Mike’s new friend turned out to be the leader of the local Revolutionary Youth Committee, and was very supportive of our gesture.  Pictures and the full story in on the home page blog.
UK (LONDON): Our focus has been on saving Christmas trees.  Andrew (1679) and I have been rescuing rooted spruce’s and with the help of many troops replanting them around Southwark.  Patti ‘s (1253) was decorated with sliced oranges and cotton ribbons in December, and now we have three more for our growing forest.  If you know of an area of land that could benefit from tree planting in London, either through guerrilla action or more conventional tactics, do contact 

UK (LEEDS): Lyla (1046) led a team of friends digging up Hyde Park Corner (far grittier and grottier than the more famous HPC in London).  Befriending the police, they managed to plant a sparce bed of primulas in place of a tangle of weeds and litter.

Last year many of you dug up an orphaned traffic island in South London and replaced the dandelions and litter with several hundred little lavender plants.  These grew, and flowered and we returned at the end of summer for an urban harvest.  Our big bunches were gathered, hung and dried, and then, finally last weekend a handful of the crop was stuffed into one hundred hand made red linen pillows.  We have made 100 to sell and raise funds for  They are available exclusively from the website.  Click below to buy one now:

Also raising funds for is Emma (569).  She makes all sorts of interesting gifts and is selling "Seeds of Love", a decorative box of wild flower seeds for your Valentine.  50p goes to  Click to buy one here:

The “Links” page on the website has been updated with several new related projects from around the world.  Here are a couple of curious ones:
Wayward Plants – Heather (1986) appreciates it is not just “orphaned land” that guerrilla gardening tries to rescue, but also “orphaned plants”.
Fallen Fruit – These Californians are trying to make public space as productive as possible, but in the mean time they’re also guerrilla harvesting from the branches of fruit trees that stray from private space into the public domain.
More about these and links to their websites can be found here:

Mike (2082) told me about a blind guerrilla gardener in North London.  With just a street name as reference Juju (013) and I tracked him down, spotting his as the most floral home by far.  Sean (2350) has been beautifying Ryland Road in Kentish Town for six years.  Plants don’t just spill out from his window sills but he has been cultivating the tree pits along the length of the street, removing paving slabs to make more space for Osteo spernum and hollyhocks.  Using his good sense of touch to sense the health and position of a plant, Sean is a local hero, and has won the support of his local council (who now dig up paving slabs at his request).  You can view Mike’s short film about him here:
Please send me reports of what you have been up to, when you get up to it.  Whether it is simply a solo mission to plant a bulb or two, or a planned attack to grapple with a huge traffic island, send me your a few words and a photo.  I am compiling as many examples of guerrilla gardening around the world.
The Japanese are being persuaded to visit London because of Guerrilla Gardening.  The British Tourist Board are trying to shake off the capital’s dreary scary image by profiling a few of London’s less well known attractions in a special edition of Japan’s Metro magazine.  What could be less scary than knowing London is crawling with strangers carrying large metal implements wandering the streets digging up traffic islands in the night!