Thursday, August 22, 2013

REPORT CARD - guerrilla gardening

I have been more active with Guerrilla Gardening this year than ever before, and the most important thing I have learned should not actually be a surprise to gardeners: successful gardens require an ongoing commitment.

Below are photos of places I have GG'd with a brief report card on how they are doing.

Last fall I committed to trying to beautify these public tennis courts near my home - and try I did.  I planted Morning Glory seedlings and African Corn Flowers, but none of them seem to have taken root. I suspect what was missing from the equation was regular watering since we had such a hot spring.
Grade: F

Last fall I planted Daylilies on the boulevard outside of our Manitoba cottage and joy of joys, daylilies being as hardy as they are, they have come back very well.  Not too many blooms in their first year but that is to be expected since I divided them into very small individual roots.  
Grade: A 

 This garden outside my workplace is the shining star. It was designed and planted as a team and we have split regular watering duties so it is surviving well in a very harsh urban environment.
Grade: A+ 

At the base of this lone tree in front of a nearby shopping mall I planted Allium Molly, but it may have been too late in the season and perhaps they are staying dormant until next year.  In any case, there is nothing coming up at present.
Grade: F

The soil in these abandoned tree pits was extremely heavy clay. Maybe that was why there were no trees? 

Portage Avenue is one of the busiest streets in town and I got more than a few curious looks while planting Blazing Star, Coneflower and Asiatic Lily bulbs.  
You can see in the "drive by shooting" where two weeks after planting city crews dug up one of them to get at something underneath.  The other two are not doing much better. Clearly regular watering was needed and while I tried to amend the heavy clay soil with some purchased bags of soil, in retrospect more drastic action was probably required including the introduction of some sand.   
Grade: D

At the Manitoba cottage I planted dozens of Lupine along the roadside. As of last weekend they were mostly still alive and growing, but growing very slowly.  The plants are still only 4 inches tall, however they are still alive, and that counts for something!
Grade: B

Last April I posted about my plans to plant Allium at the end of my street, but it never ended up happening. Too much to plant, too little time.
Grade: F

To make  up for my missed Allium commitment I am going to explore adding Crocus inside this stump in the fall. They would be a lovely surprise for people on this public walking path along the river. (I used Allium instead of Crocus)

So my scorecard this year is not that great and I know what I need to do next year to improve it:
recruit more helpers.  
Who knows what could have happened if there had been others to help with the watering?

Lesson learned.

Sharing with Fertilizer Friday


  1. I'd totally help in your efforts if I was closer. In my area I try to locate sandy eroded slopes to plant with natives that have small seeds. Dotted Mint, Black-eyed Susan, and Penstemon seem to take pretty well with little effort. I'm too stingy with my liatris seed to let those go anywhere other than my property.

    1. Sticking to easy to grow /hardy wildflowers sure sounds like a good idea!

  2. I totally agree with you when you write:
    "successful gardens require an ongoing commitment"

    thanks to my daily efforts, I got this:
    (an old post of my blog: I'm slowly trying to translate everything in (a rude) english)
    The weight of water (scroll down for english version)

    Keep it up!


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