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Fair Game for a Guerrilla Garden

a blog called plot

My sister, who lives in Tallinn, Estonia, emailed me a photo a couple weeks ago. I looked at it and thought, why did she email me a picture of a chain link fence? I knew there had to be a good reason, because she’s an intentional human being, a very thoughtful one, actually. A few more seconds of looking and I recognized her reasoning: hanging on that chain link fence was a flower box, the kind usually found hanging beneath a window.

She had been out for a walk when she passed a construction site surrounded by a chain link fence. On that fence, every few yards, a window box was hung and planted with red geraniums. She took some pictures.

a blog called plot

A lesson in how to pretty up a construction site, while also making a statement about new development (if you should want to make a statement).

Guerrilla gardening, as it’s called, is concerned with the scarcity of public places for planting. I don’t think this dispatch from Estonia represents a particularly aggressive gardening effort, but maybe I should be looking beyond the initial impact at what this could mean. There are groups around the world who plant as a political statement, a physical manifestation of their rejection of overdevelopment and the rise of cultures that devalue public green spaces.

Such groups are flourishing in Moscow, Los Angeles, London, Brisbane and Venice, to name a few places, with the British Richard Reynolds as their spirit guide.

I don’t know if this lot was a park that’s now lost to new development, if those flowers are a memorial or simply intended to make the scene a little warmer, more encouraging than your usual stark and gritty construction site.

Are you moved by the desire to plant things in extraordinary places? Is the flower box on a chain link fence just your style? I’d love to hear your stories and see your guerrilla garden photos. Please share in the comments below.