What is Guerrilla Gardening?
I borrowed a book from my library recently called "On Guerrilla Gardening" by Richard Reynolds. I had no idea what I was checking out. I thought I would learn some gardening tips. As it turns out there seems to be an under world of gardeners. The more I read the more fascinated I became with these gardeners. To think that some people can not garden freely was something I was unaware of. I guess it makes sense though when you think of all the people that live in apartment buildings. Where can they plant things if they have no land? Guerrilla gardeners have taken over public spaces to satisfy their need to garden and get back in touch with nature. On page 16 Reynolds defines gorilla gardening as "The illicit cultivation of someone else's land." This sounds like risky business to me.
Think of all the land around you. Think specifically of property that isn't taken care of. This type of land is the land that guerrilla gardeners target. Guerrilla gardeners are fighting a war to beautify their cities and towns. There are many properties that are neglected. Cities might not have the funds available to landscape a space and then maintain it. Apartment managers might not care about the land around their buildings and let it go to the weeds. There are many planters around that go empty year after year except for the weeds. There are empty lots where homes have long since been torn down and now lie empty. These areas are more and more frequently being taken care of by guerrilla gardeners.
Guerrilla gardeners don't want to see neglected property. They typically love nature and gardening and they take it upon themselves to clean up neglected areas and plant something. What they plant is up to them and it depends on the situation. Sometimes they have to do their gardening in secret and will even get up in the middle of the night for fear of getting caught. Some people have been doing it so long they have very well groomed gardens right out in the open, on public or private property that no one cares for but them. Sometimes they just toss some seeds on the soil and let nature take its course. Whatever path they choose for that area, they are improving upon what was already there.
I am not sure what my opinion on guerrilla gardening is. I can see both sides. I see the need to garden; I don't think I could live without it. I see the need to take care of the Earth and all its many land areas. I see the need to beautify cities and towns. I also see where this is trespassing. I see how this can be considered illegal. It might not be as thrilling, but why couldn't people ask permission to garden on these properties? I know it wouldn't always work out, but it is worth a shot right? Part of me thinks "who do they think they are, changing someone else's property?" It was a very interesting book to read on a topic that I did not know existed last week. Now I look around and wonder if it goes on in my city.
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