'Is Alan Titchmarsh culpable for Churchill's turf mohican?'

An inspirational interview in Salon that has me eyeing the disused planters at the end of a neighbouring street. Here’s an excerpt but reading the whole thing, which includes a Q&A with ‘guerilla gardener’ Richard Reynolds, is very much recommended.

Power to the flower

Four years ago Richard Reynolds had his virgin guerrilla gardening experience. Fed up with the litter and tangled shrubs that filled the public planters in his south London neighborhood of Elephant and Castle, he set out at 2 a.m. wired on tea and began weeding and planting. “I felt like some kind of mischievous tooth-fairy or green-fingered vandal,” he writes in his new book, “On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries.” He began blogging about his experience and has, in a fairly short time, built a global network for guerrilla gardeners to plan late-night digs that stretches from London to Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India, to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Reynolds defines guerrilla gardening as “the illicit cultivation of someone else’s land.” Gardening takes place at night to minimize run-ins with authorities. He lays out a brief history of guerrilla gardening, stretching from the 17th century English diggers who, facing record food prices, began cultivating common land with carrots and beans, to 1970s New York city artists who coined the term “guerrilla gardening” when they created the Liz Christy garden on the Bowery, at the time a derelict neighborhood. He touches on the Zapatistas in Mexico, who began as an agricultural movement in the 1970s, and the Tacamiches in Honduras, who successfully cultivated an abandoned banana plantation between 1995 and 2001. Guerrilla gardeners, he notes, are even at work in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where one U.S. detainee used a plastic spoon to dig at night. With seeds saved from his meals he grew watermelons and cantaloupes. Read full article and interview here…

To read the rather wonderful poem referred to in the title of this post, click here.