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City Life

The Guerrilla Gardener

Guerrilla agents at work

Guerrilla Gardener’s operate under cover of night, moving in and acting as ‘agents of mass beautification’ planting flowers and other types of greenery in neglected medians and vacant spaces. They have to operate under cover of night as what they do is considered illegal, contravening bylaws that prohibit the modification of municipal lands and spaces. They lob seed bombs and plant flower mines.

In Montreal there is a guerrilla gardener turning a former railway yards into a Roerich Gardens. In case you are unfamiliar with what a Roerich Garden is, its what museums and cultural institutions planted in 1935 to mark schools, museums, and cultural landmarks to prevent them from being destroyed during aerial bombardments. The plant artist is trying to draw attention to the fact that while the medow (which is listed for redevelopment) doesn’t appear to be an active public space, plenty of people use it and enjoy it. Plus she is doing it for “sheer visual pleasure.” source.


There are people around the world who take otherwise neglected pieces of land and turn them into spots of urban beauty. I mean really, one can not argue that our cities don’t need more plants.  The Guerrilla Gardening hompage is run by a Londoner and started off simply as a blog about the illicit gardening missions he undertook and has since evolved into a resource with notes on Guerrilla Gardening missions around the world. This is one movement that I fully support and would hope that our city officials would recognise the value of letting these “agents of mass beautification” go to work unhindered. Besides its city beautification that cities don’t have to foot the bill for, how can they say no to that?


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