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Transforming Neighborhoods Through Guerrilla Gardening

Imagine what your community would look like if the vacant lots, patches of half-dead, boring old lawn, and sidewalk beds were thriving, beautiful gardens filled with veggies, flowers and herbs. Doesn't that sound nice? Want to get involved with making it happen? Welcome to the world of guerrilla gardening.

The practice of planting on land that does not legally belong to you, guerrilla gardening is, on the one hand, not as rebellious as its name suggests. We’re talking about introducing seeds and plants to neglected land; a pretty harmless act. On the other hand, however, a guerrilla garden can radically transform a junky lot full of trash into the showpiece of a neighborhood. It can provide food, create beauty where there was none, draw attention to areas that need cleanup and bring a community closer together. In times of isolation and concrete over-growth, this really is an act of revolution. Not bad for a few little plants, eh?

If you want to see neighborhood transformation in action, check out this video. In it, South Central L.A. guerrilla gardener Ron Finley shares his approach to guerrilla gardening and his thoughts on why community gardens are essential. Below the video is a short photo essay of guerrilla gardens to inspire you.

Guerrilla Gardening Photo Essay

Pop-up corn field in the middle of a busy Bronx intersection. Creative Commons photo by Kristine Paulus

Guerrilla Gardener in Belgium. Creative Commons photo by mathiasbaert

Guerrilla Gardening Meets Street Art in Newtown, New South Wales. Creative Commons photo by Newtown Graffiti

Seed Bomb Ready to be Tossed Into a Vacant Lot. Get more info on seed balls/bombs here. Creative Commons photo by Herder3

A Guerrilla Garden of Strawberries. Yum! Creative Commons photo by ubrayj02

Pansies Brighten Up a Vacant Lot in Edinburgh North, U.K.. Creative Commons photo by Denna Jones

A sandbox in Quebec is reimagined as a guerrilla garden. Creative Commons photo by solylunafamilia

Creating a moss art garden in Berlin. Learn how to create moss art here. Creative Commons photo by rosalux-stiftung.

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