Travels inspired by the Wombles

Monday, 10 August 2009

Guerrilla gardening

I promised in a previous post to talk about the guerrilla gardener we met in Hastings.

We found out about Chris in a Co-operative Society magazine, where he cited the Wombles and Blue Peter as childhood influences on his life, career and outlook. Chris is a freelance gardener and, in his spare time, a guerrilla gardener. Guerrilla gardeners target an abandoned piece of land which they don’t own to grow crops or plants, in order to reclaim land from what they see as neglect or misuse and to assign a new purpose to it. Some guerrilla gardeners carry out their actions at night, in relative secrecy, to sow and tend a new vegetable patch or flower garden. Others work more openly, seeking to engage with members of the local community.

In Chris's case, this has meant planting fruit trees, or sowing seeds, in unloved gardens and other public spaces. The fruit trees are usually apples or pears, not from any Cockney connection but because the trees bear fruit quickly.

New uses for neglected land, fruit everyone can share and new plants everyone can enjoy. That sounds good to me.

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