Guerrilla Gardening…kinda

Guerrilla gardening is defined as gardening on land that doesn’t belong to you, whether public or private.  Some people do it to reclaim land from perceived neglect or misuse, some to provoke debate about land use and ownership, and some do it because they haven’t their own land to garden.

Why not turn unused land into productive food growing gardens and/or beautiful ornamental gardens for all to enjoy?  Seems like common sense to me, and a valid means to address food security concerns and promote community.

Guerilla Gardening the greenspace behind me

The forest behind, but it's not mine!

I performed an act of guerrilla gardening recently…sort of.  Behind my yard is a band of greenspace, owned by the developer of this subdivision.  Eventually it is slated to be sold as building lots, but that day is not in the near future, because the developer will need to build a road to reach the land and there is only room for a single row of lots.  This developer owns a lot of more readily accessible land and he’s not even doing anything with that at present, so we should be able to enjoy this greenspace for a number of years.

Guerilla Gardening

The soil is very good in the forest, it was super easy to dig the planting hole!

There is about 30 feet of open space right behind my back fence, then a forest of (primarily) Quaking Aspen, with a few Alder and the odd Douglas Fir.  In autumn the Aspen turns golden-yellow which glows beautifully with the setting sun.

The wilderness behind my back fence

The wilderness behind my back fence

My small act of guerilla gardening was to plant a Red Oak tree at the edge of the forest.  I can just imagine how shocking the contrast will be when it lights up in the fall.  I have nursed this tree in a container for a few years, and just couldn’t find a spot for it in my yard; it’s eventually going to get huge.

Guerilla gardening with an oak tree

Quicker than planting an acorn...

But there’s plenty of room back in the beyond, and it’s far enough from my garden that it won’t shade it or compete for nutrients and water (in my lifetime).  I’ll be sad if I’m still here when that land is developed as they’ll likely chop it (and all the other trees) down.

Not quite wilderness...

Not quite wilderness...

Maybe that will be a signal that it’s time for me to move on, or maybe I’ll be able to buy the lot behind me and leave it wild…we’ll see.

Can you see the little oak tree?

Can you see the little oak tree?


About hortophile

I am a very opinionated, slightly obsessed gardener with decades of experience in the retail nursery industry. A lucky resident of the "Wet Coast" of British Columbia I tread a muddy path between practicality and beauty, with my veggie patch, herb garden and fruits vying for position with the beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers that I can't resist. DON'T ask me to choose between them! I believe in environmental responsibility and common sense.
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4 Responses to Guerrilla Gardening…kinda

  1. Margie says:

    I’ve been a Guerrilla gardener too! One of our houses backed on park land, and I created a series of walking paths so that we could enjoy the area. I also planted some local wild flowers. I expect the previous owners didn’t even know that there was a beaver pond back in those woods!

    • hortophile says:

      Nice! We pushed a path through the green belt also, it links to an immense trail system, excellent for walking the dogs, running and biking. We’re so lucky to live here!

  2. Me three! I lived in a place surrounded by large slopes that were maintained by the homeowners association. They were plain english ivy and some shrubs. I planted loads of Naked Ladies (bulbs and seeds), gladiolus, blueberries, boysenberries, and anything else more exciting I could get my hands on.

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