2 posts tagged with “guerrilla gardening”

  • Bombs away: It’s seed bomb season

    seed bombs

    It’s around this time of year that I start to miss being a downtown daytime dweller.

    When the snow gave way to grass and those perpetual grey clouds parted to reveal that the sun did indeed still exist, it was a sure sign that I’d soon be able to forgo lunch al desko for noshing al fresco on the library steps.

    When I worked downtown, the library courtyard was my favourite spot to take a break from the demands of the office and revel in the sounds of my city: the chatter of the other average bureaucrats enjoying their midday break, the cacophony of traffic, the harmony of singing birds.

    And then there were the sights, most notably the yellow flowers — lillies, I think, but I’m bad with blooms — that emerged from the bed at the base of the library’s water fountain. I often daydreamed of sneaking some rainbow chard into their midst to break up their golden monochrome. I gave thought to planting a tomato or two that would creep up the sides of the dreary grey edifice of the police headquarters across the square from my spot on the steps. Lavender, chives, which are such beauties when they flower, oregano, and basil would add something to those plain municipal gardens, too, I figured. Continue reading

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    Category In the Garden


  • Peach Tree
  • Stepping up Chive Walk

    Guerrilla gardeners gather to plant the rest of Chive Walk in Niagara-on-the-Lake Monday.

    I braced myself for the worst when he sidled up to his fence to ask us what we were doing.

    Bad things were bound to happen, I figured as I stood on the sidewalk leading up to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Centre last night. Persistent, pressing questions. Annoyance at our answers. Possibly even anger.
    After all, we were engaging in guerrilla gardening in a strip of dirt abutting this man’s yard, partaking in the unsanctioned planting of chives on town property. It was all in an effort to beautify Niagara-on-the-Lake and make it more edible. And by that, I mean growing food in public spaces that anyone can harvest.

    Chive Walk

    But how would a resident of the “prettiest town in Canada,” with its stately homes and manicured lawns, feel about such civil disobedience, even if we thought it only contributed to Niagara-on-the-Lake’s reputation for being so aesthetically pleasing.
    I held my breath as someone in our small but mighty group of six guerrilla greenthumbs piped up with an answer.
    “We’re planting chives,” she said.
    “Oh. That’ll smell great,” the man replied, a smile spreading across his face.
    “Chives — they go really well with potatoes,” he added.
    I took that as an endorsement of our efforts to plant hundreds of the perennial allium along the freshly paved walkway on Anderson Lane.
    It was a project started earlier this month by town resident Melissa Hellwig. I tagged along to help and we got a fair stretch of the garlicky spikes planted. But we had a whole other side of the walk to line with the edible greenery.
    Our earlier plantings didn’t appear to be faring too well, what with no rain to help them along and what appeared to be a date with a weed whacker. They looked pathetic but also determined to withstand the whipper snipper, some green shoots still evident.
    This time, though, we had four others join us in our efforts of getting the chives into the ground. They were tenacious, not wanting to leave until every last bit of dirt was home to some herbs, and they made Chive Walk official. 
    And soon, someone will be eating the fruits of our labour with potatoes. 
    I bet they’ll be delicious. 

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