Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Saturday, 15 March 2014

GBBD: Guerrilla Tactics


The warm weather of the past week or so has brought real changes to VP Gardens and the rest of Chippenham. The picture shows part of the area at the end of our narrow side garden where I've planted bunches of daffodils to greet walkers coming off the public land onto our part of the estate.

At their feet you can just about make out the fresh green of the Pulmonaria my friend L gave me, which is beginning to spread itself out nicely. Peer a bit more closely and you can just about make out the pink flowers which the local bees love at this time of the year. Soon some grape hyacinths will join these flowers; for once their spreading habit is welcome and I can leave this area to look after itself.

I haven't done much more in the way of guerrilla gardening, apart from these touches plus the bank of snowdrops started across the way. To make it into a 'proper' garden would look out of place because we have the old hedgerows close by. But to my mind the area does need some enhancement to prevent it from looking too utilitarian and to soften the progression from countryside to urban estate.

So I've instinctively adopted a more Robinsonian approach and as there's plenty of shade, it's been mainly a spring enhancement. Since visiting Mount Usher last September - my first visit to a garden where Robinson's ideas are actively pursued - my mind is turning to other times of the year.


One of the plantings I particularly liked at Mount Usher is the pictured combination with Crocosmia forming a pool of colour beneath each tree. Their grassy, strap-like leaves look good when young too, so I think this is useful inspiration to bring home for late summer here.

It just so happens I have some Crocosmia 'Emberglow' planted in the wrong place in the back garden. It should be a minor job to transfer their affections to the front, where I can employ my guerrilla tactics to great(er) effect. I always thought these corms needed the bright sunshine and dry conditions of the large terrace bed, so it was good to see them working well in a woodland setting too.

Do you have any plans for guerrilla gardening this year?

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

22 comments:

  1. Now those daffies are a nice cheerful greeting VP and I do like the planting of crocosmia under a tree. Here I've plans to continue with my guerilla gardening and have a post in the pipeline. I will be lobbing more little daffies over the other side of the stream which borders our garden, to add to the ones that have already taken.

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    1. Ooh looking forward to your post Anna :) I have plans for more daffies too - the local old people's home does a trip to see the ones I've planted, so I know how much they're appreciated.

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  2. Any plans for guerilla bluebells?

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    1. *slaps hand to forehead* - yes, Sue they're already there along with the snowdrops on the bank. I forgot about them!

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  3. Primroses and foxgloves too maybe?! How nice to know that people enjoy your efforts, keep it up!

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    1. Sadly the primroses seem to have died out. I think it got a bit too shady for them. I transplanted some self-seeded foxgloves from the gravel path in the back garden into this area last year. Time will tell if they survived...

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  4. I like the crocosmia around the trees like that. Flighty xx

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    1. Fingers crossed mine will look like that one day:-)

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    2. Me too!!! I have few bulbs and a new tree that I just planted in the pot, i might put the bulbs into it :)

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  5. I love your philosophy of guerrilla tactics. I think I've been doing that in my garden forever but just didn't know what to call it! Now it has a name. Happy Bloom Day.

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  6. Ooh, you've got me thinking now. I have a strip of grass between the path going past our house and the road. A tree would look really nice there I think. Walnut? I can't believe I haven't thought of this before. Some people park on the grass verges around here, so a tree should be a snip. And there are lots of grass verges...

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    1. Walnuts are fantastic trees, but they're enormous. It sounds like a smaller tree might be better for the space you've described. I hate to say it, but you'd need to be careful re health & safety too, so I'd be reluctant to plant trees on public land without involving your local council. Worth asking them though.

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    2. I think you're right, I got a bit carried away. I would so love a walnut, but I don't have the space, so I'm anxious to put one somewhere, anywhere. Maybe I'll start smaller...

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  7. Guerilla Gardening is a new concept to me, or is that what all my projects are? Happy Bloom Day.

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    1. Jean - hello! It's a world-wide movement aimed at making neglected public spaces better. Here's the website if you're interested... http://www.guerrillagardening.org/ Community projects are often very similar but usually have the support/blessing of the local authorities. Guerrilla gardening projects often metamorphose into community gardening ones - a good way of ensuring the good work continues well into the future.

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  8. Welcome Dorothy! NB guerrilla gardening is outside your own garden on pieces of public land, though perhaps the tactics still apply there...

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  9. The daffodils really make a cheerful transition from country to urban--nice touch, VP! I don't do real guerrilla gardening, unless you count the way I sneak a little more space from Husband's precious lawn each year:)

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    1. Ha ha Rose, I love that idea :-)

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  10. No plans for this type of gardening for me but I do like the use of the Crocosmia. Your little patch is quite lovely.

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  11. Wow, lovely photos! My guerrilla gardening this year involves edibles in our city, as well as widespread milkweed plantings for the monarchs. We're opening an urban farm in conjunction with our Farmers' Market, but we're also planning to plant as many edibles throughout the surrounding community, hoping that the local folks will take advantage of the healthy food. Crossing fingers that it works!

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    1. Welcome Julie :-) I love the sound of your urban farm!

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