All around cities are orphaned green spaces. That’s where guerrilla gardening comes in. Where there is wasted green space, gardeners reclaim it as public property meant to be beautified with flowers and cultivated to produce crops.

This guide includes:

What are the principles of guerilla gardening
Getting started
Continuing action

Guerilla gardening is a form of direct action that not only seeks to beautify and nurture abandoned public space but also reclaim it for citizens. Gardeners take on land that is owned by private interests or the city and revitalize it. They believe in re-conceiving land ownership if the owners are neglectful. Through their gardening, these activists give the space a new purpose that serves the people.

Getting started
First, check to see if there are already guerilla gardening operations in your city. There are collectives across Canada that can help you get your hands dirty. If you’re starting on your own, find some friends to help. Gardening can be hard work and the more people that can pitch in, the better!

Find some unused space in your community. This is where you can try your first planting. Next, make a plan. Many city bylaws and land rights make guerilla gardening illegal, so its important to go at a time where you will attract the least attention. The seeds or plants you use should be hearty, able to withstand the elements and, if possible, free. Some garden centres will toss wilting plants you can bring back to life with some TLC, other centres may put certain plants on sale. A friend with a garden might also spare some seeds for your cause. Bring bags, gardening tools, containers for waste and gloves. Wear clothes you can get dirty and shoes you can run in.


How to make seed bombs

Poster pocket plants

Keeping it going
Guerilla gardening isn’t a one time thing. Make sure to water, weed and keep tending to plants after you’ve started.