We must cultivate our own garden. When man was put in the garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work, which proves that man was not born to rest.
It seems as if the world becomes more grey with each passing day. More organized, more developed, more monotonous. Trees and bushes are cut back and neatly arranged in rows. Grass is kept green and uniform. Summer flowers are dug out of the ground, and fall flowers are planted in their place.
In the developed world, there is a fixation among the populace – On living in an environment that resembles a golf course. Nature must be orderly, maintained, and may only exist when convenient. The ultimate decision of what to do with a natural environment lies with the human to whom the property belongs to. This is the fundamental assumption that the Guerilla Gardening project hopes to combat.
An unkempt hedge is as beautiful as a delicately trimmed, perfectly square one. The mangled trunk of a tree is, in its own way, as beautiful as a spotless transplant. A flowing field of tall grass and wildflowers is as beautiful as a lawn cut uniformly by a one-inch mower blade.
In a time where man has a vice-grip on the planet, we hope that we can cultivate the beauty of the natural world, in plain sight of human environments, to grip the citizen at his very soul, and convince him that he does not need the trimmed fields of green grass, or the flatscreen TV, or the current model of automobile. Guerilla Gardening’s endgame is the epiphany that the private ownership of land and property, at the expense of the collaborative cultivation of it, is responsible for the social and ecological ills that plague our modern age.
The cultivation of a plant from seed requires care, diligence, and trust, wholeheartedly, in oneself. These are the foundations of self-sustainability, and Guerilla Gardening as a movement, through its own momentum, hopes to spark in the minds of the people a revolution; an insight that they have agency, and can take care of themselves and one another. That they can cultivate the world in which they dwell daily into one which they are careful stewards of.
Guerilla Gardening hopes to inspire frequent altruism towards the natural world, with the understanding that ecological soundness benefits all human beings. The natural systems that Guerilla Gardeners hope to sustain and expand are the systems that sustain us all.
Guerilla Gardeners should understand that beauty is nothing without a benefit, and they should prioritize, whenever possible, native plants that provide habitat, pollen, or food for animals. Not only are these plants optimal in terms of their benefit, they’re often easy to harvest for seeds, at no cost.
Cost can be thought of in two ways. Conventionally, it is the money an individual gives up in acquisition of a good. But, there are social and environmental costs to all of our actions, which we often do not track. The Guerilla Gardener does not mitigate the good she has done by creating waste in the process. She thinks of ways to repurpose things she already owns, and when buying things, ensures that they’ll be useful beyond their immediate function. Whenever possible she accepts seeds, seedlings, clippings, and other organic capital from friends, and gives these things away to encourage this reciprocity.
Guerilla Gardeners do not see a distinction where borders and barriers are drawn on a map. People can own their homes, their cars, and their toothbrushes, and Guerilla Gardeners should respect that, but people cannot own the grass that they section off with a fence. They do not own the trees they plant, or the trees nearest to their house in comparison to others. The trees, and the grass, and the flowers all own themselves.
Guerilla Gardeners do not see the plants they’ve nurtured as “their” plants. They do not seek to plant them where they will see them every morning. When considering where to plant, the Guerilla Gardener does not take into account where he is allowed to plant. He plants where a plant is most needed, where a plant can be preserved, and where people, animals and the planet can benefit from his hard work.
The Guerilla Gardener plants in cities, suburbs, and along highways through the countryside, hoping that combination with others’ efforts will grow a new world.