Sunday, May 27, 2012


Guerrilla Gardening Downtown Planting

beforeAs mentioned in the previous post, once again this year I am the downtown coordinator for the Toronto Guerilla Gardeners, which means that I get to pick the spot in the downtown area that we will garden, and coordinate our efforts on the day of the plant. I did this last year as well, so I've had all year to plan our refresh of this garden.

afterI borrowed a small rototiller from Byron, because I knew from last year that the ground is super hard and in need of work - last year we spent two long hours with shovels to prepare just a small zone. This year, with the help of the rototiller, we were able to prepare about half of the entire lot!! The soil sadly isn't very deep: about 4 inches down, there is a very hard gravel-based subsoil, which is best left as is. We added about 8 bags of soil (thank you Toronto Awesome Foundation, some of your money well spent! Also thanks to Terry and the Guerilla Gardening Mobile, for actually doing the leg work on that), plus we moved a 3 foot stretch of soil from the ungardened area into the gardened area. The combination of those those two got us a workable amount of soil over the whole prepared area.

victoryWhich brings us to: donated plants! Thanks to a wonderful donation from now non-anonymous Sheridan Nurseries (thank you!) of as many Iris's and Astilbe's as we wanted (they had 1000+ of each), we got 13 big boxes of perennials. This is what allowed us to dream so big this year! Thanks to Linda's awesome direction and knowledge, we made a rivers and islands layout for the garden, which turned out so beautiful. Combined with the awesome black mulch, the garden looks incredible and alive.

The final touch was the fence. Ewan and Christopher and I spent the morning building fence pieces, and once again it just takes the garden that extra mile. It also clearly marks the garden out as a special zone, which should keep the drunk people from tramping through it. I'm absolutely overawed at what we managed to accomplish in a single afternoon - it went from looking like an abandoned piece of land, to looking like a well maintained front-yard flower garden, and sooo many of the neighbors stopped by while we were working to say thank you. We asked them all to help us keep the garden watered, hopefully they will! See the complete flickr set: Guerilla Gardening Downtown 2012

Thanks to everyone who came out, I for one had a fabulous time and I know that this kind of thing can't be done alone, it's best done with friends!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Guerilla Gardening: north planting

The first Guerilla Gardening planting of the year! It was way way in the North, up on the campus of York University, near a medical building - though don't ask me exactly where, I couldn't find it again on my own if I tried, that campus is so confusing! Ewan and I made those awesome fence pieces that you see, they really made this planting, it looks so cute! This garden is also showing the effect of the Awesome Grant - we were able to plant all perennials this time! So the little garden should last for several years rather than just being a flash in the pan like many previous efforts. I'm planning to refresh the same spot as last year for the downtown planting - hopefully with the base that we already have (all those lilies are still there!) we can expand to a much larger gardened area this year. And a little bit of that fence should go a long way there too!

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