Author Archives: Cian O'Donovan

Planting: No garden? No problem

Welcome to the world of guerrilla gardening, where just about any patch of soil in a lay-by or traffic island can become a prime spot to grow some veg.

Denmark Hill, London by The Guerrilla Gardner

Guerrilla gardening has sprung up in cities around the world over the last decade, and has turned out to be one of the few things that anarchists and Sunday Telegraph readers can agree on. Sounds good to us.

To get started all you need is a patch disused land, some seeds or bulbs and a fertile imagination. But if you need a bit of advice or even some experienced guerrilla gardeners for your first dig, help is at hand. Guerrillagardening.org is a favourite resource and one of the original catalysts for the trend in the UK. On it you’ll find plenty of community advice on what to grow, where to grow it with and invitations to join existing digs that are planned for the coming months. They even have instructions on how to make your own seed bombs, a must-have in any guerrilla gardener’s arsenal. We interviewed founder Richard Reynolds on Twitter this afternoon, you can see the transcript below.

Pictures tell the story of Guerrilla Gardening better than we possibly could so here’s a selection from the Pimp Your Pavement Flickr group.

Guerrilla Sunflower

Guerrilla Sunflower

Guerrilla garden by ubrayj02

If you’re an experience guerrilla or are planning a first time dig in the near future we’d love to hear from you and even better, see some of your handywork, so do get in touch.

Here’s the transcript of our Twitter interview with Guerrillagardening.org founder Richard Reynolds.

@tentenuk: Welcome to the  Friday lunchtime Twitter chat. It’s Planting Month right now and we have @Richard_001 of guerrillagardening.org
@tentenuk: We’ve got some questions lined up for @Richard_001 but please jump in with any comments. And be sure to use . @Richard_001 how are u?
@richard_001: I’m good. And all the better for seeing my city (and guerrilla gardens) just got a soaking after a few dry days!
@tentenuk: Great to hear! So let’s begin, in two tweets or less @Richard_001 what is guerrilla gardening?
@richard_001: Gardening someone else’s land, err without asking. Usually public land, usually neglected. We adopt this orphaned space
@richard_001: That was a definition in one tweet!
@tentenuk: Guerrilla gardening seems to be on the rise, why now @Richard_001 ?
@richard_001: More of us in cities, less of us with land and the realisation that digging public places means you meet people
@tentenuk: Cool, we want to start gardening, so how does a regular 10:10er get involved @Richard_001 ?
@richard_001: Spot a plot near where you live, a tree pit, a shabby planter and get sowing and planting.  http://tinyurl.com/6fy6se
@tentenuk: You make guerrilla gardening sounds super easy! How about veg, what are the biggest vegetables you’ve grown @Richard_001 ?
@richard_001: Clumps of swiss chard in SE1… but fruit trees (not veg) are taller. Apples, pears. If you can dig a decent hole this works
@tentenuk: We’re talking to @richard_001 about guerrilla gardening. join in with any questions and see here for more: http://bit.ly/cEouil
@tentenuk: You mention SE1, what are your other favourite places to guerrilla garden @Richard_001? Have you gone international?
@richard_001: Guerilla gardening is best local. But via the GG Community http://tinyurl.com/y8n65qe you could dig with GGs all over Europe
@tentenuk: Ok, I’m sure like us everyone now wants to see the fruits of you labour. Any examples of photos, tweetphotos etc.@Richard_001
@richard_001: Here’s me and Wilm in Germany gardening in Garten Strasse outside a prison in Muenster http://tinyurl.com/ye8lgp8
@richard_001: Here’s a YouTube ‘gallery’ of what I’ve been involved with guerrilla gardening around London http://tinyurl.com/yg6cotr
@richard_001: And here’s an inspiring thriving chard photographed in Clapham http://tinyurl.com/yhel38j Not sure how tasty though!
@tentenuk: Wow, that’s a great video. Tell us, what do do local authorities have to say? They must be pretty happy with new shrubs? @Richard_001
@richard_001: Most local authorities turn a blind eye and the police can almost always be explained away when they know you’re not robbing
@tentenuk: Tell us about http://pimpyourpavement.org @Richard_001, is guerrilla gardening going mainstream?
@richard_001: http://pimpyourpavement.org This is my new campaign, to focus on micro local public gardens and invite authorities to help
@richard_001: My aim is that guerrilla gardening is so popular that we don’t need to be guerrillas anymore and the land is ours to garden!
@richard_001: The reality is that it’s more effective to garden these scraps of land as guerrillas and get permission (if ever) later
@tentenuk: Just a couple more questions to go in our Twitter interview with @Richard_001. If you have any questions get them in quick
@Ian_Preston76: @tentenuk @Richard_001 do you know of a good website to buy seeds? Need to get my tomatoes & beans in soon
@richard_001: You’re after seeds. Ideally find a local seed swap. Search “seed swap” or “seedy Sunday” and get local seeds
@lowcarbondiary: @Ian_Preston76 I always buy seeds from http://bit.ly/c78OlP very little packaging, good quality service & cheap!
@tentenuk: Can’t argue with that. Penultimate question from us: Seed Bombs, FTW!?! @Richard_001. Please explain
@richard_001: Seed bombs: a way of gardening ‘hard to reach’ or ‘hard to linger’ places. Definitive guide here: http://tinyurl.com/lb3r2r
@Childrensfood: @Richard_001 – let’s get growing taught in every school!
@richard_001: Absolutely yes, more growing at school. I had teachers who encouraged my digging the edge of the playground!
@tentenuk: Finally @Richard_001, what are you doing in 2010 to reduce your emissions by 10%
@richard_001: 1. Signed up 2. More bike 3. Less meat 4. Enjoying seasonal food 5. Off to four German cities next week by train to talk GG!
@tentenuk: That’s it from our lunchtime chat. We’re off to plant some Camden pavements. A HUGE  thanks to @Richard_001 for stopping by.
@richard_001: Thank you too. Good luck with pimping your pavement, guerrilla gardening I presume! http://www.guerrillagardening.org
@tentenuk: We have more on our  Planting month at http://1010uk.org and http://www.facebook.com/tentenuk
@tentenuk: Thanks to all who took part in the  gardening chat today. If you want some 10:10 stickers let us know.
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Signed your family up to 10:10? Tell us what you’re doing

10:10 in Scarborough

It is two months into 2010 and we’ve been hearing loads of stories of active 10:10ers insulating homes, changing lights and turning down their thermostat. We want to feature the very best. We’re looking for big families in Birmingham, small families in Sheffield, couples in Cheltenham, classes in Colchester and all sorts of groups from Grimsby to Gateshead. If you’ve done a 10:10 action and can show us the results we probably want to talk to you.

As the year progresses we need a bunch of 10:10ers we can call on to create case studies which will be featured on 1010uk.org, in your local press and in national press up and down the country. This is a great opportunity to let your community know what you and yours have been contributing to the UK’s most exciting climate campaign.

So if you think you’re the 10:10 family in your town, or your Sunday league team has cut the carbon already, get in touch. E-mail press@1010uk.org with your contact details and we’ll take care of the rest.

10:10 Brighton & Hove up and running

A full 10:10 out of ten for Brighton & Hove as businesses get on board to cut carbon emissions.

The businesses of 10:10 Brighton & Hove

Last week saw the first of many events planned as part of the really exciting (for us anyway) Brighton & Hove 10:10 campaign which has been initiated to help the whole city reduce carbon emissions by 10% in 2010.

Forty key businesses and various representatives from the area attended the event which was a kick-start consultation to encourage engagement from the business community and provide valuable research prior to the campaign’s official launch in the city. It also provided a chance to seek out local business ‘pioneers’ who will help communicate the 10:10 message across a wide range of networks and organisations.

There were presentations from local campaign director James Grugeon and team member, Lorraine Bell, as well as a keynote address from eco-designer, writer, television presenter and all-round hero Oliver Heath. These were followed by an in-depth breakout session which allowed the guests to provide feedback and input as to how best to get businesses in the city to sign up to the campaign and implement achievable changes to reduce carbon emissions by 10%.

10:10’s Tracey Todhunter, (who runs our cities programme), closed the event with words of support and encouragement for the team and guests; “Today was a perfect example of the inclusive and collaborative approach embodied by 10:10, I met a great team and a very diverse representation of Brighton and Hove’s Business community. It was inspiring and rewarding it was to be part of such a well organised and well thought out event.”
James Grugeon, the 10:10 Brighton & Hove director also had some encouraging words: “Business forms a crucial strand within the local 10:10 campaign, so as a team we felt it was really important to offer an opportunity for business representatives in the city to share their thoughts and suggestions with us. This allows us to develop useful and relevant tools and support mechanisms to help Brighton & Hove achieve its 10:10 goals.

“The 10:10 Brighton & Hove team is made up of a selection of business owners and representatives from a range of organisations. Each member brings diverse skills and experience, as well as a great commitment to ensure the campaign is interesting, fun, informative and achievable. Following the buzz at this first event, we’re all really excited about taking Brighton & Hove forward with an official campaign launch, which is coming soon.”

Fantastic stuff James! Brighton are showing a lot of cities around the UK just how to do it! They signed up to the national 10:10 campaign last year and they are becoming one of the pioneering 10:10 cities by developing a localised programme of activities and communications throughout the year and across the city. We can’t wait for the next event, maybe we’ll even pop down for a day at day on the pier.
Check out some photos from the event from our Flickr archive.

And if you’re inspired by the crew in Brighton, get in touch. For media enquiries for 10:10 Brighton & Hove contact: Fay MacDonaldfay@diosamedia.com.

And to learn more about 10:10 cities get in touch with Tracey here at 10:10 HQ: 020 7388 6688