Category Archives: Urban action

The War on Terra

Ah, what a great headline what with the news about Osama bin Laden – wish I could take credit for it! I must pass the credit on to the clever folks at Kabloom, who have just celebrated the 5th International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day on May 1st and recently teamed up with Selfridges to create a pop-up shop instore. They produce these witty Guerrilla Gardening ‘Seedboms’.A great gift idea for those of use who would like to see a few flowers in neglected corners of the world.

Street art: makeshift vase and tulips

I was walking from a meeting to a London Underground station this afternoon, and just as I passed the Ritz I spotted this bit of guerrilla gardening. Made me smile!

Vertical gardens: DIY panels

Vertical gardens have been around for decades in Modernist landscaping. Now you can bring them to your own home with these vertical garden DIY panels by Flora Grubb. I love succulents, and these installations are modern and beautiful.

You would have to ensure you have the right plants for your climate, and the right wall, but given a bit of thought I am sure different plants would be very successful.

And if you’re very crafty, you may be able to build the wall system at home from scratch.

Window farms: allotments for city dwellers

I just caught wind of this brilliant new movement, started by a very cool chick in Brooklyn, New York. By combining recycled 1.5l water bottles, clay pellets, plastic tubing, a fish-tank air pump, and a dash of hydroponic know-how, this clever gal has developed a vertical window system for growing greens in the city. Watch her film here:

The project has become an international collaboration, and window farms are popping up in different and improved iterations across the globe. It looks like these farm ‘curtains’ will also soon be available to purchase off-the shelf, although there are clearly extra green points for using the recycled elements.

Loved seeing this modern micro-farming idea – very clever!

Adidas Guerrilla Gardening Video

I loved coming across this advertorial/documentary style video commissioned by Adidas and filmed in London. It’s great to see a young and very funky brand make gardening look so cool. We have plenty of canvas for guerrilla gardening in London, and lots of people to cheer up, so I hope the trend continues. Well worth the 3 minutes.

Snails in the garden

I wish I could say this was going to be one of those magical posts you find that gives you the cure-all for pests such as snails. Between worrying about them and actually going out with a flash light and picking them off the precious bounty, gardeners spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over these horticultural evil-doers and the havoc they wreak.

No miracle here I’m afraid, however I did pick up on an interesting ongoing study via the BBC last night. Evolution Mega Lab. These guys are picking up where Darwin left off, by studying the effects of climate change and other environmental impacts on the evolution of the common garden snail. Fascinating.

They need you to help! This is a mass study through the collaboration of gardeners (or just people who go outside) all around the world. So before you pick up that snail and throw it over the fence (or perform the more permanent solution under your boot), take a quick record of what it looks like. The website provides all the background info you need. Happy hunting!

Guerrilla daffodils

This is my first attempt at posting to the blog from my iPhone. This morning I snapped this photo from the train on my way into London: a large patch of hillside next to the tracks that is totally covered with daffodils.
Daffodils aren’t my exactly my first choice flower, but when you see that a local community has brightened up a dreary patch of land next to the train tracks near Croydon, it’s pretty special. The camera phone photo doesn’t do it justice, this is pretty good guerilla gardening.

The Obama White House Vegetable Garden

The coolest couple in politics is planting a vegetable garden in the White House south lawn, and Michelle Obama has enlisted the help of her well-documented perfect biceps and Jimmy Choo boots (hearsay, but wouldn’t you believe it?).

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Here is the layout of the First Vegetable Garden via TheWhoFarm who petitioned hard to make it reality. I’m not so sure about the variety myself, but it was probably very well considered on the basis of climate, usability and maybe even potager-looks. It will be great to follow the progress.

white-house-kitchen-garden-layout

It’s worth noting that the Obamas are certainly not the first presidential gardeners. Eleanor Roosevelt inspired thousands with her Victory Garden during World War II. The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, was also an avid gardener and some of his garden notes have been electronically archived. Here is a page to marvel at:

thomas_jefferson_garden

Moss graffiti art

The gals at el&abe have created beautiful moss art that slots somewhere in the very small patch between nature and urbanity. This moss ‘graffiti’ manages to be arrestingly beautiful and thought-provoking. I just love it.

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