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On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening without Boundaries

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On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening without Boundaries Cover

ISBN13: 9781596914490
ISBN10: 1596914491
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Gardeners, unite! A call to reclaim the drab and neglected urban spaces of our cities and towns through stealth gardening tactics.

Four years ago, Richard Reynolds found himself without a garden to call his own. Stuck in a London apartment building without so much as a windowsill, he began to sneak out under cover of darkness to plant flowers in the building's neglected public flower beds. Encouraged by his victory, he advanced to other "orphaned" patches of land in his neighborhood and reached out for support by setting up a Web site, www.guerrillagardening.org. Before long, thousands of  guerrilla gardeners worldwide had enlisted on the site, all stealthily cultivating someone else's land — whether to beautify their neighborhoods, to bring their communities together, as a political gesture, or for basic subsistence.

Part manual, part manifesto, On Guerrilla Gardening gives you everything you need to join the revolution. Drawing on the venerable origins of the movement to reclaim our public land, from victory gardens to New York's Green Guerrillas, the book takes us to sites of illicit cultivation from San Francisco to Singapore, London to Libya. Packed with photos, stories of battles won and lost, and practical advice — such as how to plan an attack, what plants to have in your arsenal, how to evade the authorities, and how to use propaganda effectively — On Guerrilla Gardening is an irresistible invitation to shoulder your shovel and strike out beyond your picket fence.

Review:

"With the rallying cry, 'Let's fight the filth with forks and flowers,' this lighthearted guide is a seriously silly romp through the adventurous pastime of gardening other people's plots. Reynolds, after five months living in a 10-story tower block in London, missed gardening and began surreptitiously cultivating the planters in front of his building, gardening in the dead of night to avoid interference. He started a blog to share his delight in illicit gardening, and discovered he was part of an international movement. Reynolds draws inspiration from pioneers of the movement: New York community gardens built on vacant lots, dispossessed Honduran Chiquita workers who appropriated abandoned banana plantation land, and Gerrard Winstanley, founder of the short-lived but influential Diggers who, in the tumultuous year of 1649, planted beans and barley on public land in Surry, England, 'that every one that is born in the land, may be fed by the Earth his Mother that brought him forth, according to the Reason that rules in the Creation.' He borrows techniques from more infamous guerrillas such as Che Guevera and Mao Tse Tung ('the guerrilla "must move with the fluidity of water and the ease of the blowing wind"'). Both a manifesto and a manual (tips include how to build seed bombs and deal with pests unique to the guerrilla form of gardening: authorities and landowners), the book delights with tales of exploits from the anarchic, artistic community of guerrilla gardeners." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

When Richard Reynolds began planting flowers secretly at night outside his tower block in South London he had no idea he was part of a growing global movement committed to combating the forces of neglect, land shortage and apathy towards public spaces. But his blog GuerrillaGardening.org attracted other guerrillas from around the world to share their experiences of the horticultural front line with him and become a focal point for guerrilla gardeners everywhere. On Guerrilla Gardening is a lively, colourful treatise about why people illicitly cultivate land and how to do it. From discreetly beautifying corners of Montreal to striving for green communal space in Berlin and sustainable food production in San Francisco, from small gestures of fun in Zurich to bold political statements in Brazil, cultivating land beyond your boundary is a battle many different people are fighting. Unearthed along the way are the movement's notable historic advances by seventeenth century English radicals, a nineteenth century American entrepreneur and artists in 1970s New York. Reynolds has researched the subject with guerrilla gardeners from thirty different countries and compiles their advice on what to grow, how to cope with adverse environmental conditions, how to seed bomb effectively and to use propaganda to win support.

On Guerrilla Gardening gives entertaining inspiration, practical reference and no excuses for not getting out there and gardening. 

About the Author

Richard Reynolds was born in 1977 and grew up gardening with his family. His first illegal cultivation was at college, where he planted windowsills with boxes of Busy Lizzies. He has been a guerrilla gardener in earnest since 2004; his Guerrilla Gardening organization now has thousands of active members worldwide and has been featured on ABC, NPR, the BBC, Richard and Judy, the Washington Post, and many other places. Aside from his guerrilla activity, he works as an advertising planner. He lives in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

tarynfaerie, July 3, 2008 (view all comments by tarynfaerie)
Looks like a wonderful & inspiring read for anyone & also people living in concrete jungles to add warmth, colour & community spirit. Thanks Mr Richard Reynolds :)
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
Richard Reynolds, May 27, 2008 (view all comments by Richard Reynolds)
Hi it's the author here. In response to the reader who asks about my lack of windowsills... well I really don't have any! It's sad but true. I'm in a ten-storey 1970s tower block and in hindsight moving there was a dumb idea because I really missed tending plants... I'd always had at least windowsills before living in London. The solution seemed obvious to me. There was no need to move, I loved everything else about my home and there was opportunity all around me right on the door step (all be it down a lift first). The need for care of the neglected public planters solved my itch and after starting there grotty patches of public land never looked quite the same again (by which I mean they became potential gardens). It's just a pity it requires guerrilla tactics to do it. Three years on I now have permission from the council but they said had I asked first they would never have permitted my activity. It's just a lot more difficult to say no in the face of blooming flowers and happy residents... and that's why guerrilla gardening is a great strategy to transform land on your terms.

I've gardened since I was a kid, I was head gardener at school aged 13 and I weeded organic strawberries by hand for a holiday job when I was fifteen. Having guerrilla gardened for four years now I really don't see the need for a private garden of my own. Doing it in public is just so much more fun. And this book tells the tale of many many others around the world and in the US doing it too, for all sorts of different reasons.

As for those windowsills, well this year I was brave enough to make use of my high rise facade. There's a bit of concrete that sticks out beneath my flat with a small concrete wall around it (this is a hard-to-describe architectural oddity, a weird sort of flat roof thing but best picture it as a shallow coffin and planting it like doing so from the top of the grave). I've dropped some buckets of compost and sunflower seeds into it and a six weeks in all is going well. I'll post pictures of it on the website (GuerrillaGardening.org) later in the year. But this experiment doesn't let me get my hands dirty and enjoy regular gardening, and so I'd encourage anyone with this peculiar high rise opportunity or a plain old windowsill to do that but also get out there and start transforming more territory... or at least get some inspiration and cheer from those who do and read my book!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(11 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
David Weich, March 12, 2008 (view all comments by David Weich)
Who doesn't have a windowsill? None at all? I mean, even if his window didn't open, you'd think he had some kind of sill. Unless he lived in the basement. Not that this would stop me from reading the book, but why would a guy so interested in gardening live in a broom closet?
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(2 of 33 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781596914490
Subtitle:
A Handbook for Gardening Without Boundaries
Author:
Reynolds, Richard
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General Gardening
Subject:
Urban
Subject:
Sociology - Urban
Subject:
Urban renewal
Subject:
Urban ecology
Subject:
Community gardens.
Subject:
Urban gardening
Subject:
Urban renewal -- Citizen participation.
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Form - Essays
Subject:
Techniques
Subject:
Flowers - General
Subject:
Landscape
Subject:
Garden Design
Subject:
Public affairs
Subject:
Administration
Subject:
Public Policy/City Planning
Subject:
Urban development
Subject:
Public Affairs & Administration
Subject:
Public Policy/City Planning & Urban Development
Subject:
Gardening : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080527
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Colour Illustrations throughout
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
Home and Garden » Gardening » General
Home and Garden » Gardening » History and Theory
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General

On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening without Boundaries Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596914490 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With the rallying cry, 'Let's fight the filth with forks and flowers,' this lighthearted guide is a seriously silly romp through the adventurous pastime of gardening other people's plots. Reynolds, after five months living in a 10-story tower block in London, missed gardening and began surreptitiously cultivating the planters in front of his building, gardening in the dead of night to avoid interference. He started a blog to share his delight in illicit gardening, and discovered he was part of an international movement. Reynolds draws inspiration from pioneers of the movement: New York community gardens built on vacant lots, dispossessed Honduran Chiquita workers who appropriated abandoned banana plantation land, and Gerrard Winstanley, founder of the short-lived but influential Diggers who, in the tumultuous year of 1649, planted beans and barley on public land in Surry, England, 'that every one that is born in the land, may be fed by the Earth his Mother that brought him forth, according to the Reason that rules in the Creation.' He borrows techniques from more infamous guerrillas such as Che Guevera and Mao Tse Tung ('the guerrilla "must move with the fluidity of water and the ease of the blowing wind"'). Both a manifesto and a manual (tips include how to build seed bombs and deal with pests unique to the guerrilla form of gardening: authorities and landowners), the book delights with tales of exploits from the anarchic, artistic community of guerrilla gardeners." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,

When Richard Reynolds began planting flowers secretly at night outside his tower block in South London he had no idea he was part of a growing global movement committed to combating the forces of neglect, land shortage and apathy towards public spaces. But his blog GuerrillaGardening.org attracted other guerrillas from around the world to share their experiences of the horticultural front line with him and become a focal point for guerrilla gardeners everywhere. On Guerrilla Gardening is a lively, colourful treatise about why people illicitly cultivate land and how to do it. From discreetly beautifying corners of Montreal to striving for green communal space in Berlin and sustainable food production in San Francisco, from small gestures of fun in Zurich to bold political statements in Brazil, cultivating land beyond your boundary is a battle many different people are fighting. Unearthed along the way are the movement's notable historic advances by seventeenth century English radicals, a nineteenth century American entrepreneur and artists in 1970s New York. Reynolds has researched the subject with guerrilla gardeners from thirty different countries and compiles their advice on what to grow, how to cope with adverse environmental conditions, how to seed bomb effectively and to use propaganda to win support.

On Guerrilla Gardening gives entertaining inspiration, practical reference and no excuses for not getting out there and gardening. 

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