Guerrilla gardening, is the use of food crops or plants to beautify an area on land that the gardeners do not have legal right to use. It often occurs as a social activity on land or property abandoned or neglected by its legal owners, or as light and friendly form of activism bringing life and colour to dull areas owned by the council or privately; taking action to make your surroundings and community into more pleasant places to work and live.
The earliest recorded use of the term guerrilla gardening was by Liz Christy in 1973 who together with her Green Guerrilla Group transformed a derelict private lot in New York into a beautiful garden. Other important Guerrilla Gardeners are Gerrard Winstanley of ‘The Diggers’, in Surrey, England (1649), and John “Appleseed” Chapman in Ohio, USA (1801).
Reclaiming waste land to create beautiful gardens is often illegal but in many cases is well received by the councils as it is a collaborative action to improve the community in which no-body is losing out, and so successful projects on land that is entirely disused have often ended up becoming recognised as legitimate public parks, such as The Liz Christy Community Gardenand
The Guerrilla Gardening movement in the UK is credited as being created in by Richard Reynolds October 2004 wrote worte a blog detailing his solo gardening project outside Perronet House, a council block in London’s Elephant and Castle district. His later book on Guerrilla Gardening describes and discusses many interesting projects from 30 different countries around the world.
May 1 is the official Global Guerilla Gardening day, so please join us and tens of thousands others around the world in planting sunflowers (or others plants if you feel inspired) in your community and making the city of London a little brighter and more cheerful!
Mariana @ Focallocal
If you’d like to get more involved here’s a list of some related projects I found, many of them are based in London:
Urban roof gardens
Urban Physic Garden
Hackney City Farm
Kentish Town City Farm
Stepney City Farm
Also published on Medium.