Guerrilla gardening is not a modern phenomenon or a short-term gardening trend. It is more of a philosophy and silent rebellion that finds its expression in beauty and life. What began in 1969 in San Francisco and later in New York by artist Liz Christy as a social protest against structures, monopoly rule and neglect has remained an underground movement to this day. But this is gaining more and more followers and can already assert itself in public. Even big brands like Adidas & Co. are already trying to profit from it and even include guerrilla gardening campaigns in their commercials.
Guerrilla gardening for more nature in the city
With night-and-fog campaigns, numerous “garden guerrillas” green and beautify roadsides, median strips and other neglected green areas in many cities around the world. The garden pirates are also out and about in Germany and are already enjoying great popularity, especially in Berlin, where there is still a lot of free-standing plots. A great example of guerrilla gardens are, for example, the so-called “princess gardens” in the capital, which are located on Moritzplatz in the Kreuzberg district.
Guerrilla gardening in the UK
In Europe, Richard Reynolds from London first started out as a garden guerrilla. In 2004 he first secretly began to beautify neglected green areas in his neighborhood with flowers and plants. However, his activity met with admiration from his neighbors and slowly it became a guerrilla gardening community that not only conquered the UK, but also expanded worldwide.
Richard Reynolds currently also runs the blog: www.guerrillagardening.org and has published a book: “Guerrilla Gardening. A botanical manifesto ”that has become a bestseller.
The secret weapon of the garden guerrillas are the flowers
Guerrilla gardening is not only environmentally friendly, but also social. The green guerrillas are not only good for biodiversity, but also contribute to increasing CO2 absorption by plants. In addition, their actions create many guerrilla gardens, which later become beautiful neighborhood gardens and play an important role in the socialization of the area.
People from different backgrounds garden together
Important tips for newbies to guerrilla gardening
The most important thing a beginner guerrilla needs is of course the right motivation. Even better if this is combined with a love of nature and sufficient discipline. Then the results of the actions are also optimal. Furthermore, you should try to find other followers who would also like to get involved with guerrilla gardening, because you often need help with the nocturnal planting activities.
Choosing the right plants for your guerrilla gardening campaigns is one of the most important aspects to consider. Above all, robust flowers, herbs and shrubs that can withstand drought are ideal for greening the city. Boxwood, valerian, pansy and marigold are just a few of them. Perennial flowers such as snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, nasturtiums, hollyhocks and tulips are also among the most popular types of flowers for a garden pirate. These bloom for a few years and keep scattering their splendid splendor of colors to please passers-by.
Summer rush of flowers through guerrilla gardening
The most important ammunition of a garden guerrilla also definitely includes the so-called seed balls. The round dumplings made from earth, clay powder, compost and seeds have already become very popular in this country and are even available in some organic shops. Passionate garden pirates can of course make their own seed bombs. The clever ammunition can not only be thrown on neglected, green areas, but also pushed into cracks in the wall or inserted into cut tree trunks. You can really let your creativity run free.
When choosing seeds, you should primarily rely on native plants. However, there are some useful neophytes, such as the Jerusalem artichoke, for example, which have adapted very well to our weather and soil conditions, are also edible and even quite healthy.
DIY seed bombs for successful guerrilla gardening
Silicone molds are ideal for such seed balls
Making seed bombs together is even more fun
Protected from birds, the plants germinate in peace
The legal side of guerrilla gardening
As beautiful as guerrilla gardening is, it is actually considered a criminal offense, at least in this country. Because unauthorized gardening on private property or public green spaces is by no means allowed in Germany. According to §303 of the Criminal Code, such acts are considered damage to property and, in the case of private property, there is even a claim for damages according to §862 BGB. Nevertheless, many “garden pirates” risk coming into conflict with the law, but ensuring more freshness and blossoms in their own city. As a result, this type of gardening has become a minor offense and is being driven by more and more followers.
With a shovel and watering can on the path of guerrilla gardening
With all of this in mind, we can safely say that guerrilla gardening is one of the most sensible and useful activities that anyone can practice as they wish in their urban environment. It is important to stick to a few rules and only grow the plants sensibly. Because the real point of the matter is not to bother someone, but to give your own contribution to a more beautiful and healthier landscape. So, “illegal” urban greeners of all countries, unite and bring nature back into the city!
Provide more freshness and color everywhere through guerrilla gardening
And if it’s officially with permission, that’s called urban gardening
Either way, the results can be just fabulously beautiful
Urban gardener Steve Wheen has implemented such projects for potholes
Seed bombs can work wonders
Succulents and cacti are just perfect for many projects
Some useful plants and flowering plants too, of course
Little effort, big impact!