Tuesday, April 27, 2010

4th Annual International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day

This Saturday is the 4th Annual International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day! So grab yourself some sunflower seeds and get plantin'.


  • Date: Saturday, May 1, 2010
  • Time: 10am to 10pm
  • Location: ALL OVER THE WORLD! Give us your poor-quality, tired-out, empty masses of ground longing to be green!


  • Look for public spots that are looked after, but not carefully maintained. You want your sunflowers to grow without the threat of getting pulled up.
  • Dig a small hole using your finger, a pencil, a trowel, etc. The hole should be about an inch deep.
  • Drop in your sunflower seed, and cover the hole with dirt.
  • Watch in eager anticipation as your sunflowers sprout and grow!

These fan-freakin'-tastic flowers will attract butterflies and bees, and are certain to bring a smile to everyone who comes into contact with them.

If you want an accomplice, er... partner in crime, uh... I mean friend for your clandestine sunflower planting, let D.C. Guerilla Gardeners know. We're great at accomplicing.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The D.C. Guerilla Gardeners SECOND-EVER Event!

Let me tell y'all that the DCGG is ON FIRE! Our FIRST-EVER Event was wildly successful and oodles of fun, so we are moving on to Event Numero Dos tout de suite.

SAVE THE DATE, you gardenin' fools! Save it.

  • What: The SECOND-EVER D.C. Guerilla Gardeners Event! Woo-to-the-2!
  • When: Sunday, May 9, 2010
  • Time: 10am - Noon
  • Where: TO BE DETERMINED. (Got a location idea? Email me!)
  • Bring: Bottled water (for yourself to drink), gardening gloves, your preferred garden tools (spade, trowel, shovel, etc.), seeds or plants if you have 'em and want to share 'em
  • RSVP: Let D.C. Guerilla Gardeners know you're coming so that I can be sure to bring enough snacks, though I have to tell you that the last group didn't eat any of the snacks I brought and I was forced - FORCED - to eat the entire package of Oreos ALL BY MYSELF.*

Stay tuned as more information is announced.

Join the mailing list to get all of DCGG dirt! Pun intended.

*I will say for the record that I asked, no, BEGGED my lovely guerillas to PLEASE take the Oreos when they went home so as to save me from the mass Oreo consumption, but did they? No. They did not. And I? I ate all of the Oreos. JUST AS I WARNED THEM I WOULD. My ever-enlarging posterior blames you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

In Which We Claim Our 15 Minutes of Fame

...with humble alacrity. Woo! And again I say, "WOOOOOO!" Hearty-ho high-fives to my fellow guerillas.

Check out the story here.

Doing (It Together) - Vermont and T

Sunday dawned chilly and overcast but the Fall-like weather could not dampen the Springy-y enthusiasm of the D.C. Guerilla Gardeners. Like the stealthy stealths that we are, we appeared one by one from our corners of the world to turn a small spot of sad brown into a verdant one of green.

And pink! And yellow! And purple!

For the first event of a brand-new group made up of people who have never before met (except to see eachother on a bus [L and K]), I have to tell you that it was BEYOND AWESOME. And don't think that just because I started this blog I am in any way biased about the AWESOMENESS that is the D.C. Guerilla Gardeners. But if you won't take my (unbiased) word for it, then perhaps the presence of the WJLA-7 news crew at our planting should testify to our awesomeness. (Some consider the news - aka: The News [in caps] - a more reliable source than me, a mere mortal and gardening novice.)

nd if the news - aka: The News (again, caps) - doesn't persuade you that the DCGG is awesome, then perhaps the curriculum vitae of our members would. Let it be known that these people are gardeners. Like FOR REAL gardeners. Gardeners who know about soil acidity and full sun and what-have-you. Gardeners who know how deep to dig a hole and how much mulch to put down. Gardeners who take master gardening classes and grow tomatoes in their studio apartments. Gardeners who write master's theses on nonviolent political protest in the form of gardening. Gardeners who KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING WITH A SPADE AND A HOE. (Unlike me who plants enthusiastically but uninformedly and can't tell you what a hoe is for.) To say that I like these people would be an understatement.


And you should, too. Especially you, residents who live around the intersection of Vermont Avenue and T Street, because these people, these lovable, knowledgeable, hoe-wielding gardening people totally turned your sad intersection into a thing of gorgeousness with native plants: coreopsis, black-eyed susans, and evening primrose.

And the best part? It will only get better with time.

So enjoy, D.C. The Guerilla Gardeners have got your back and we'll be popping up at an abandoned lot near you sooner than you know.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The DCGG: Planting Plants, Making the News

Hey folks! Great NEWS! The D.C. Guerilla Gardeners successfully pulled off its first mission and made the WJLA-7 news in the process. Check us out tomorrow, Monday, April 19, 2010, on the Channel 7 news at 5pm.

More NEWS - and pictures! - on our first mission tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Learning - April 17, 2010 "A Community of Gardeners"

Work-In-Progress Screening: "A Community of Gardeners"
Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010
Time: 2pm
Location: Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, Virginia

A work-in-progress screening of "A Community of Gardeners," produced by local filmmaker Cintia Cabib. The documentary explores the vital role of seven community gardens in Washington, D.C., not only as sources of fresh, nutritious food, but as outdoor classrooms, places of healing, centers of social interaction, and oases of beauty and calm in inner-city neighborhoods. The screening will be followed by a Q-and-A with Cabib.

The Arlington Career Center's student-built "Little Green House" mobile exhibit, made of recycled and environmentally friendly materials, will be on display outside Central Library during this event.

Call 703-228-6321 for more information.

This event is part of Arlington Reads 2010, featuring appearances by farmer and literary legend Wendell Berry and urban farmer/author Novella Carpenter.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Doing (It Yourself): Upside Down Planters

Kate Pruitt of Design*Sponge posted a lovely DIY upside-down planter* project that makes this guerilla's fingers twitchy to get crafting.

For the step-by-step instructions, check out Kate's post.

*What's the fascination with growing things upside-down? I admit to being mildly intrigued by the whole thing, but I don't quite get it. Can someone explain this anti-up phenomenon?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Guerilla Confidential: Why I Love to Garden

This weekend my boyfriend (aka: Guerilla #2) and I took our greenish thumbs and began the process of Growing Things. This process entails ooh'ing and aah'ing over seed packets, dreaming grandiose dreams of backyard composting, drooling over colored pots, and mentally willing hummingbirds to roost in our eaves.

(At least it does for me. Guerilla #2 comes from Kansas farming stock so for him growing things is second nature. Also, do hummingbirds roost?* Gotta ask Google.)

The reality of gardening for us two guerillas is far from the dream. We're all about mismatched pots of recycled soil filled with bits of sidewalk rubbish, seeds and prayers. "Oh please oh please oh please let these beans grow," I mutter as I pick out spongy cigarette butts. "Oh please oh please oh please don't let me cut my hand on a stray piece of glass."

I doubt that our form of gardening is unique to us two. In fact, I think most people in the District engage in the same cockeyed gardening methodology of wishful thinking, prayer, and rubbish-sifting. Looking around at the postage stamp-sized yards, I see the results of their wishful thinking. The many hours spent lovingly tending those wee patches of Earth sometimes erupt in cacophonous blooms, a riot of color; sometimes in a slow trickle of green, a leaky faucet of leaves.

The thing I love the most - THE MOST - about gardening is not the insanity of color and texture (though I love that very much), but rather that it introduces you, the gardener, to strangers. In the course of an hour spent tying ivy to the fence rails with pipe cleaners, I met three dogs that let me pet their heads and their three owners who didn't. (With the exception of Guerilla #2, people don't seem to like when I pet their heads. Guerilla #2 would trade a kidney for a good head rub, but strangers? Not so much.)

I met a neighbor from across the alley and I learned that she has a cat. I met a man on a bicycle who weeds people's yards for spare change, and I learned that that man can REALLY weed. His weed-busting was astounding. I also learned that the next door neighbor's front steps didn't fare well through the winter's salt and that he was planning to paint them a new color, thus deviating from the standard black iron.

For me, this is what gardening is about. It is opportunity and possibility. A spade in one hand, my other remains free to shake those of the people I meet. Freshly turned soil is a clean slate waiting to be written upon. Each seed carries the potential to turn a corner of my world into something green and climbing. Tendrils curl about the fence posts; seedlings stretch to catch the sun. Possibility and opportunity. Gardening opens windows that look into people's lives and goodness knows how I love looking in people's windows.

From the world's biggest gardening novice, I welcome you to join me and the rest of the D.C. Guerilla Gardeners as we undertake to turn the unused pieces of our city into teeny bits of possibility and opportunity.

Join us on April 18th as we overturn soil as a group for the very first time. And stay tuned for more to come throughout the season! Garden District will teach us how to plant trees, we'll swap recipes for seed bombs, I'll start a one-woman campaign of seedling love and adoption, and you'll get to hear more stories from the guerilla gardening crew.

*This just in: hummingbirds roost! In safe places where there are trees and grasses and lots o' nectar.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sharing - DCGG Member Solicits Sources for Thesis

Hidey-ho there, Guerillas!

A fellow DCGG member is writing her Master's thesis on guerilla gardening and would like to speak with area guerillas about their motivations for gardening in this way, what they hope to achieve, what statements they are trying to make, etc. You don't need to be an experienced guerilla to serve as a source, so even "green" green thumbs (like me!) can help.

If you're interested in helping out, please drop me an email and I'll put you in touch with our thesis-writing member.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Learning - April 29, 2010 Speaking Event

Heads up, Guerillas!

Peter Golkin of the Arlington Public Library has graciously invited us to some upcoming Arlington Reads 2010 events. (Arlington Reads is Arlington Public Library’s annual one-book, one-community initiative to promote discussion and the joy of reading throughout the County.) This year, our food takes center plate... as Arlington Reads 2010 looks at the movement away from industrial mass production back to safer, healthier meals grown through local, sustainable means.

"Eating Local" Panel
Date: Sunday, April 11, 2010
Time: 3pm
Where: Shirlington Branch Library
More: A group of area farmers and naturalists will look at simple ways to eat foods that are safer, healthier and geared to the bounty of each season. In addition, the films "Food, Inc.," "Fast Food Nation," locally made documentary "A Community of Gardeners," and "How to Cook Your Life" will be screened. Central Library in April is also the site of a month-long juried art exhibition, "The Art of Food."

"The Memory of Old Jack" community discussion
Date: Monday, April 19, 2010
Time: 7pm
Where: Arlington Central Library Auditorium
More: Berry’s book "The Memory of Old Jack" is the Arlington Reads 2010 title, and will be the subject of a community discussion. Leading the exchange will be Professor Patrick Deneen, director of Georgetown University’s Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy.

Novella Carpenter, urban farmer and author
When: Thursday, April 29, 2010
Time: 7pm
More: Novella Carpenter, urban farmer and author of "Farm City: The education of an urban farmer," will discuss her experiences connecting with the soil in Oakland, CA. Ms. Carpenter created her own farm in the middle of an Oakland, CA neighborhood called "GhostTown." While in Arlington, Carpenter also plans to share thoughts with high school students and explore some of the County’s farmers' markets and community gardens.

Wendell Berry, literary legend and Kentucky farmer
When: Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Time: 7pm
More: Mr. Berry – who declared "eating is an agricultural act," thus inspiring today’s movement toward safer, healthier, locally produced meals and sustainable living – will discuss his life’s work and his vision of people honoring and reconnecting with the soil. "Wendell Berry actually began the national conversation about food, agriculture, the environment and health decades ago," Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh says. "Without him, we probably wouldn’t have a vegetable garden on the White House lawn or Wal-Mart trying to sell organic produce." Kresh says this year’s Arlington Reads celebrates not only Berry’s "remarkable career as a writer of over 30 novels, essays and collections of poetry but his prescience in encouraging readers to 'think globally and eat locally.'"

For more information on these and other Arlington Reads events, visit the
Arlington Reads 2010 website.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The D.C. Guerilla Gardeners FIRST-EVER Event!

D.C. Guerilla Gardeners is getting to ready to attack, er... garden a neighborhood spot near you! Want to get involved? Your chance could literally be right around the corner.

  • What: The FIRST-EVER D.C. Guerilla Gardeners Event! Woo!
  • When: Sunday, April 18, 2010
  • Time: 10am - Completion
  • Where: T Street NW at Vermont Avenue NW
  • More Where: Location is one block from the U Street/African American Civil War Memorial Metro stop on the Green Line.
  • Bring: Bottled water (for yourself to drink), sunscreen (we like to make things green, not red), gardening gloves, your preferred garden tools (spade, trowel, shovel, etc.)*
  • RSVP: If you're so inclined, let D.C. Guerilla Gardeners know you're coming so that we can be sure to bring enough snacks. Did I say, "Snacks?" I SURE DID! There will be snacks, oh yes indeedio.

The Site - T Street NW at Vermont Avenue NW

*For more information on what you can bring, contact D.C. Guerilla Gardeners.

Download the event flyer here.

We hope to see you on April 18!