Wednesday, 8 May 2013


    With winters dark stifling months behind us the opportunity to go outside and get our hands dirty is here. For those restrained by the concrete tyranny of student rental property yards, having nowhere to indulge in green thumbed seed spreading can be an off-putting barrier to the world of horticulture. Welcome and embrace the Guerrilla Garden!

Before: Foul-mouthed Road S#!t Tip; regularly frequented by lazy dog walkers.
    Richard Reynolds; founder of Guerilla Gardening has the following to say. Guerilla Gardening is "the war against neglect and scarcity of public space as a place to grow things, be they beautiful, tasty(or both!)" The process is simple; take a poorly maintained patch of land, clear it of crap, unwanted weeds and litter and get planting.

After: unruly winter stragglers trimmed and removed. A horticultural bikini wax if you will.
    The Falmouth Road garden is our first endeavour into the world of guerrilla cultivation. Situated 15m from Heaton Road we're told the patch is responsibility of the adjacent old peoples home but has been neglected by their gardeners for some time. Our sensibilities offended by this overt lack of respect towards Heaton's OAPs was cause enough to take up arms and get Charlie Dimmock on its ass.

    Trimmings and turds out the way, production of a suitably jazzy fence became the next priority. Using skip sourced pallets and leftover paints we knocked together 10m of fence which was screwed, carried and dropped in place.

The Thrifty Workshop
Thrifty Gardener Sam "Short Arms Deep Pockets" Skelton cleans the streets.
    With the fence sorted 22 sunflower seedlings, foxgloves and assorted wildflowers were planted. Using this combination of easy to grow annuals and biannuals with a little bit of luck, some sunshine and good warm weather we'll have a lovely colourful patch by July. A good sweep and a thorough watering later all that's left is to sit back and let nature take control. 

    For updates on Falmouth Road Guerrilla Garden keep an eye out here on Thrifty Gardening, or better yet go have a look yourself over the weeks to come.


  1. Great work! Are you going to water and clean in the future or do you expect that some citizens will do?
    If you want, take a look at for some pics about guerrilla gardening in Italy

    1. Hey, great blog! I didn't know Italy had such a vibrant Guerrilla culture.
      We've been looking after the patch so far (fertilising and watering the plants). The fence was vandalised at the weekend but it's all back in place and good as new now. In general the locals seem very possitive about it and keen to help out. We've allready been donated a few plants for it and future projects.

  2. This is great! When I was little, my mum decided it was a great idea to secretly plant hundreds of sunflowers around our village. We grew the seeds up in pots to begin with, and then one morning at about 5am, she filled the back of my dad's Volvo with sunflower plants and the back of her Peugeot with me and my five siblings...and we got planting! They went everywhere - up against the school fence, on the playing field, beside pavements...everywhere. All in secret. For the rest of the Summer she'd routinely get up at unearthly hours to go round and water them all. It was so much fun knowing the secret - people kept discussing the mystery of the surprise sunflowers! We'd do the rounds with stakes and string to tie them up...only to find unknown people had already taken the initiative to do it themselves. I remember doing a painting of the sunflowers outside the school - apparently we did a whole project on them!

  3. I really enjoyed this piece! The re-appropriation of the pallets is sheer brilliance.


  4. Wonderful. Don't forget to let a few plants run to seed so that you can collect them and have lots of free plants for next year.