Is "corporate guerrilla gardening" an oxymoron? I do not believe so. In fact I got my whole company involved in taking over an unsightly and unloved slice or dirt between the sidewalk and parking lot beside our building.
|Walking past this every day did nothing for anyone's morale.
I pitched the concept to my boss who approved our $350 budget - hence the "corporate" in corporate guerrilla gardening - and then purchased the bulk of the plants in support of the not-for-profit I have started up, The Winnipeg Bulb Project.
We typically have had summer BBQs at work and this year I injected a little gardening love into it. There were already some serious gardeners at work whom I recruited as team captains to help with garden design, shopping and leading groups on planting day: one for garden bed/soil prep, one for the stone stairs and three others for planting.
With such a dramatic slope we removed some of the old soil before amending it with manure and topsoil so that it would not be too high and run down into the sidewalk in the rain. Once we were ready we brought out the bulbs and plants first and then followed with the annuals to pretty it up and give everyone a sense of immediate gratification.
It was amazing how many people had never gardened and were nervous, and yes in fact some people did place their plants upside down at first, but one of the great things we accomplished was getting people's hands dirty and showing them how easy it all can be. We also accomplished this as a team which feels great.
I had some old fencing to contribute to keep people from walking through it and we even built the steps at one end to facilitate people cutting through to the parking lot. Our office is not in the best neighbourhood or prettiest street but I hope we send a message that anywhere can be improved with a little love and effort.
I know we have got people talking in the building next door and we have had lots of positive comments - and surprised looks - from folks in the neighbourhood. And while people already think it looks great they have not seen anything yet!
With time Stella D'Oro daylilies, Blazing Star, Mixed Coneflower, Allium 'Molly' and Hardy Geranium will make their appearance, joining those Ninebark shrubs and petunias.
I'll be sure to chart our progress as summer marches on.
Sharing with Fertilizer Friday.