If you want to beautify freeway space, feed the hungry, heal the earth and risk arrest, then guerrilla gardening is for you. This is a brilliant and hopeful new underground movement from a piece of God’s good earth that desperately needs some new life growing on it. I have lived on the Westside of Los Angeles for over seven years now, and guerrilla gardening gives me hope that even in a city that boasts a thousand miles of freeway, beauty and life can still spring forth if we get creative, take some risks…and get to planting.
– from Heidi Worthen Gamble
Guerrilla gardener movement takes root in L.A. area
Stealth growers seed or plant on land that doesn’t belong to them. The result? Plants that beautify or yield crops in otherwise neglected or vacant spaces.
By Joe Robinson | Special to The LA Times | May 29, 2008
BRIMMING with lime-hued succulents and a lush collection of agaves, one shooting spiky leaves 10 feet into the air, it’s a head-turning garden smack in the middle of Long Beach’s asphalt jungle. But the gardener who designed it doesn’t want you to know his last name, since his handiwork isn’t exactly legit. It’s on a traffic island he commandeered.
“The city wasn’t doing anything with it, and I had a bunch of extra plants,” says Scott, as we tour the garden, cars whooshing by on both sides of Loynes Drive.
Scott is a guerrilla gardener, a member of a burgeoning movement of green enthusiasts who plant without approval on land that’s not theirs. In London, Berlin, Miami, San Francisco and Southern California, these free-range tillers are sowing a new kind of flower power. In nighttime planting parties or solo “seed bombing” runs, they aim to turn neglected public space and vacant lots into floral or food outposts.