Published on April 8th, 2013 | by Chris Campbell


Guerilla Gardening: Beauty Sprouting in the Strangest of Places


Graffiti is a fast splash of color; it is a turbulent, cathartic act for its creator. Guerilla gardening, however, is altogether different.

Unlike the stark immediacy of neon paint, guerilla gardening is a slow birth of beauty, color, and scent. It is a patient effort to redecorate public or private land with plants.

featured image by Look It’s Art

Urban eyesores, abandoned cars, wastelands, newspaper boxes, and potholes are just a few of the many recipients of guerilla gardening. One of the first green-thumbed coverts was Liz Christy, who started the Green Guerilla Group in NYC in the early 70s.

Christy’s clever mantra was ‘drop seeds, not bombs.’ She hurled condoms crammed with soil and wildflower seeds into hard to reach places. Now, seed grenades are available from carefully placed dispensers.

Seed Bombs

image by Daniel Rolnik

Christy’s legacy has paved the way for others to green not just the Bronx, but the entire globe. Guerrilla gardeners have had scrapes with the law, but this hasn’t slowed its fast growth as a global hobby. Check out the following photos to see how imaginative guerilla gardeners have spruced up our world. And, perhaps they’ll give you ideas for your own participation!

Pothole Garden

Even a simple pothole can be transformed. Image by Anoukrandag.

Car Planter 01

Cars puff out CO2. Converting your car into a planter sucks up some of that CO2. Image by Gina Lamb.

Newspaper Box Planter

Already gone green by reading electronic copies of the morning paper? Then there’s no reason not to use the old box as a planter. Image by Avocado Creations.

Dumpster Garden

Image by Aulagarden.

With chronic domestic problems, and an international situation that is desperate as usual, it is easy to forget that the world is meant to be played in. And what better way to play than to guerilla garden, and redirect people’s attention from billboards to begonias?

“A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine,” wrote the elegant poetess Anne Bronte.

Guerilla Gardening: Beauty Sprouting in the Strangest of Places

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About the Author

I live on an island floating in the Puget Sound, a stone's throw from downtown Seattle. I am keenly interested in nature, mysticism, the cosmos, futurism, existentialism, nihilism, kitsch, satire, and miscellaneous whimsy.

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