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Do It

Plant a Guerrilla Garden

Liz Dwyer

I spent most of my childhood and teen years with dirt under my fingernails. The perennial answer I gave to friends who wanted to know if I could come hang out was, "Sorry, I have yard work to do." Digging holes and endless crabgrass pulling kept my time occupied and surely kept me out of trouble—never mind the occasional earthworm dropped down the back of my older sister's pants—once the weather turned warm.

After finishing at home, we'd head over to my grandmother's backyard. Eventually the vacant lot next door to her house would be transformed into an unofficial community garden. No one asked permission to plant corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, collard greens, and kale on land that had sat vacant for years. And when our fruits, vegetables, and flowers blossomed, they were shared in the community, too. This week, stake claim to a plot of land in your neighborhood and transform it into a garden. And like a true guerrilla—or my grandma—don't ask permission. Just do it.

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  • adiie123

    I need to find out who to built it in my apartment. !

  • Randy Dutton

    Time we eliminated nuisance lawsuits. That would allow landowners to allow people to plant gardens without fear of liability.


    Neighbors in Lima Ohio throw a BYOB ( Bring Your Own Bulb) Party in the fall- planting daffodil and tulip bulbs along City Park entrance ways. Areas chosen are highly visible but difficult to mow- enbankments, etc. so they are the last areas cut in the Spring. They meet for a potluck soup supper afterward. Bulbs bought late in the season are cheap and cost less than the bottle of wine or dessert usually shared at potlucks!

  • Ligialotus

    I was just thinking about it! I'll just do it! - ligia Lotus -

  • aapremlall

    Totally on it, shared on SustyQ's fb page, twitter and pinterest!

  • rebecca.blubaugh

    I am sharing this on my FB feed in hopes a few of my real life neighbors see it and are inspired by it!

    • Liz Dwyer

      Glad you're sharing, Rebecca! I also hope your neighbors see it and are inspired. I got inspired while writing it to get some new plants going in a few spots in my neighborhood--sunflowers are going to be taking over!