Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Gazette's Green Life blog has a story about a couple of gardeners in St. Henri who turned what had been a garbage-strewn lot in their neighborhood into a vibrant and verdant urban oasis.
You can read it here.
These green-thumbed activists are part of a growing guerrilla gardening movement taking rootaround the world. The idea is to make blighted corners of the cityscape whole again by sowing seeds, planting flowers, herbs and the like.
The St. Henri lot had been abandoned for many years when locals decided to clean it up. The owner seemed to be okay with this, right up until they posted a sign inscribed Parc Jardin Communautaire Delinelle. As we used to say in my feminist student group back in the day, to name it is to claim it. He doesn't mind them messing in his vacant lot, as long as everyone is clear on who owns it.
A similar guerrilla garden was started in a tucked away corner of Point St. Charles about 15 years ago. Residents of Sebastopol and Congregation Sts. adopted a weedy little patchy at the end of their block and planted flowers under the shade of the weedy Manitoba maples. All was well, until the city decided to sell the lot for development.
The folks got together and raised a fuss, managing to catch the ear of Mayor Pierre Bourque. Bourque, as you may recall, used to run Montreal's Botanical Garden and has a big soft spot for things horticultural. The garden was saved. The city ceded the plot of land to the good people of the Point. The garden is still there, the black-eyed susans, sedum and echinacea more lush and lovely than ever. In fact, I took the picture above there today.

You can find out more by visiting the Guerrilla Gardening website. Check out their recipe for making seed bombs.

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