Confessions of a Guerrilla Gardener

Hello. My name is Mrs. Cog and I am a compulsive gardener. It has been 4½ months since my last harvest.

I live in the woods, I like to make things grow and I suppose I have a dissident sneaky side that challenges me to do these things. Sometimes I think about stopping this behavior. It just isn’t socially acceptable to plant things on other peoples’ land, but I do it anyway. It seems I am a guerrilla gardener.

Late last summer I snuck into a farmer’s field with a bucket and scissors to cut two gallons of red clover blossoms for tea. Thank goodness no one knows except Cog and the cows. And now you.

So please don’t tell anyone.

In keeping with my enjoyment of the tea and not wanting to intrude further, or get caught by our farming neighbors depleting their fodder, I may have seeded several abandoned properties around our home (essentially empty fields) with organic red clover seed......on accident. If it happens to grow there in the future, it would simply be neighborly on my part to help maintain their land with some creative weed control.

I read in the gardening blogs of women in Britain who say chamomile grows like a weed and cannot be stopped once it really takes hold. Since German chamomile (more potent than Roman chamomile ) may be a bit rare or expensive in the future, I may have accidentally also strewn those organic seeds on various sunny patches around the mountain. Often mistaken for a variety of daisies, I may have even written down in secret code where I might have dropped those seeds.


Recently when I tested my old and well past expiration veggie seeds, I found quite a few still wanted to germinate and grow. Far enough away from our property not to attract the bear, I will deny any knowledge of stray pumpkin patches, crazy cucumbers or 'wild' tomatoes should anyone with two or four legs choose to bring it up during conversation.

Our lilac bushes, all children and grandchildren of a single lilac bush originally raised by the grandmother of the now elderly man who built our cabin, continue to have babies. Once just a single one, then a few bushes, they are now spreading into a hedgerow along our split rail fence. I refuse to take any direct responsibility for these perennials popping up in various other nearby locations in the general area. I don't recall planting them there; perhaps my memory is failing me now that I am approaching the ripe old age of 50.

On a more serious note, I continue to be inspired by the creativity of individuals and groups all over the world who are planting healthy food wherever they can. On abandoned lots, in little patches of dirt, along city curbs, individual efforts both small and large are sprouting up everywhere. A few have dedicated their lives to teaching others how to grow in whatever space can be found no matter where they live.

Some people have sunk to admirable levels of subterfuge by sneaking around at night to plant all kind of things. Others go with the more creative throw and grow campaign, lobbing soft clay grenades full of dirt and seeds into abandoned spaces where the next rain will dissolve them into the basic ingredients needed to begin the natural process of 'wild' growing.

In fact, it is becoming more common to seed neglected locations than you might think. If you are a bit leery to Google the word 'bomb' in a crowded internet, allow me to provide you with the harmless and helpful directions to create your own seed bombs.  For those with less time or ambition, but with the desire to participate, Amazon even offers organic seed bombs for sale with Prime shipping available.

With potential supply disruptions, rising prices and fewer options for many people coming round the corner, growing what we can where we can is simply common sense. If you find yourself being questioned by non-gardening family members or friends about the strange appearance of salad ingredients and all the trimmings growing in their back yard, repeat after me. “No, I have no idea where the lettuce, tomato or cucumber plants came from. But you’ll water them now....right?”

Great feats of guerrilla gardening:

Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany

No Ordinary Homestead

SunflowersLess Spraypaint

Where you canIn the strangest places...

 Efforts in LondonA report from the front lines

Vending MachinesSeed Bomb Vending Machines



Seed Bombs on Pinterest (with great links)

Books on Guerrilla Gardening


Featured top image: Throw and Grow

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2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Guerrilla Gardener”

  1. Great article, but, “Why can’t you just get things from the store, where they’re made?!?”

    I hadn’t thought of this as a movement but it makes me smile to read this; in ecology, unused capacity is not unused for long.
    Please tell us more about red clover tea, won’t you?

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. If I could change anything by writing, I would want to inspire people to grow, grow grow. That would apply to food and our inner Self. :-)

      I compiled quite a few links on Red Clover here. The complete list of natural substances and remedies that have been published on TIF can be found here.

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