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Brenda Dyck – The Past Year’s Thoughts on Gardening!
As a Guerilla Gardener I've never qualified for yard of the year but I have won weed of the week

A Guerilla Garden Award


January is the month where most people (including myself) tend to reflect on the past year’s experiences and give themselves a reality check in order to help promote a sense of well being and acceptance for the stuff that has happened in their lives. As a Guerrilla Gardener I’ve come to accept that:

-No plant ever looks like it does on the plant tag, seed packet or in the catalog – sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised, but sometimes it’s off to the compost heap!

-To make compost you simply stop throwing organic kitchen waste away and pile it up somewhere – this also goes for any misbehaving/ugly plants. Some call it a compost heap but I prefer to think of it as the place where plants are sentenced to die. As a Guerilla Gardener I take no prisoners!

-The only way to truly accomplish a no maintenance garden is to just plant weeds. To keep this in perspective you have to realize that all flowers are weeds, they are just weeds from another country.

-If your goal is to have a garden that has color all year round, then you might just have to place a pink flamingo or a colorful garden gnome in your garden in order to accomplish this.

-If you want it to rain, just thoroughly water your garden, wash your car or plan a wedding or a vacation for the time frame that you would like it to rain.

-It’s a fact, the scum of the earth actually comes in many different colors so just deal with it. Instead of trying to change your soil (clay, sandy loam, etc) use Google to search for plants that will thrive in the type of soil you have and the location of where you want to plant them. A little investigating on the internet can save a lot of time and back breaking work, and this is especially important if you are planting stuff on property that does not belong to you. If you are a Guerilla Gardener you might also be looking for plants that are low maintenance, so try adding it to the Google search critera as well. For example as a Guerilla Gardener on an Adventure living in Chilliwack I might type in the Google search bar “low maintenance plants that do well in clay soil in the Pacific Northwest

-I have observed that any vegetable planted in my garden will be at it’s peak when it can be found plentiful and cheap in the grocery store. Here in Chilliwack, even non-spray and organic seasonal vegetables are extremely affordable and available at local greenhouses, road side stands and farmer”s markets everywhere. However, I always manage to convince my self that my homegrown vegetables taste better. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

-It seems that the weeds always somehow manage to multiply in direct proportion to my effort to eliminate them. I swear they prolifically pop up out of nowhere, overnight, just to spite me!

-Rumor has it that if it weren’t for rainy days, no gardener would ever get their housework done. Well if that is true, then I’m thinking that those gardener’s obviously don’t have internet access and a Facebook account or they haven’t discovered Pinterest yet. And that’s all I have to say about that!

The final conclusion to the past year’s reflections, observations and garden thoughts bring to mind a quote from David Hobson, (AKA The Mad Gardener)
“Yup, gardening and laughing are two of the best things in life you can do to promote good health and a sense of well being.”
And as a Guerilla Gardener on an Adventure, I couldn’t agree more.

Here’s to gardening and laughing with my Guerilla Garden accomplices in 2015.

Brenda Dyck
Brenda Dyck
A Guerilla Gardener on an Adventure!

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December_Guerilla_Garden_Gift
A Guerilla Garden Christmas Gift Giving Guide

Christmas is upon us and you haven’t a clue as to what to get for your Guerrilla Garden Suspect.
Here are a few ideas to help you out:

Make it Personal :
All you need is a digital image, (a drawing, painting, photograph or a slogan will also work) of your Guerilla Garden Suspect’s garden or garden project. Then have it printed on a T-shirt, a calendar, or mug. You can even have it printed on canvas to create some personalized artwork. These personalized gift options are available in a wide range of very affordable prices at various retailers (London Drugs, Costco, Staples, Save On Foods, etc.). Best of all even the most technically challenged Grandma (with a little help from staff) can easily create a personalized garden gift.
However, if you know your way around a computer, tend to be a little anti-social or just don’t want to deal with the Christmas crowds then Snapfish also offers a similar service that you can order online from the comfort of your keyboard, while in your pajamas and best of all you can have it delivered so that you never have to leave the house.

Buy Seeds, Bulbs, Plants:
You can’t go wrong here. Don’t worry about buying a Guerilla Garden Suspect the wrong plant because they will find a place for it even if it is on someone else’s property.
If you happen to know they have a passion for a particular plant such as tulips, sunflowers, tomatoes, or basil, then buy them an assortment of several different varieties of that kind of seed, bulbs or plants. You can also go online and search for more obscure varieties of plants or seeds to give as gifts, but be aware not everyone ships to Canada or will be able to ship it in time for Christmas.
If you suspect that your Guerilla Garden Suspect maybe suffering from severe winter garden withdrawal symptoms they might benefit from a flowering house plant or planter basket but do not in anyway hold them responsible if it dies in from lack of water in the spring. Outdoor gardening season will be in full swing by then and indoor plants can sometimes be neglected. Just saying, it can happen so don’t be offended.
If your still not sure what to get your Guerilla Garden Suspect and your mind feels like it just can’t make one more decision due to all the Christmas fa-la-la-la then just know that a gift certificate from Little Mountain Greenhouses can be bought for any denomination.

Give a Guerilla Gardener some Ammunition:
Guerilla Garden Suspects are always looking for some horticultural ammunition so why bake cookies when you can just as easily make seed bombs. If your not a do-it-yourself kind of person then seed bombs, seed bullets, seed guns, seed grenades and seed pills can also be ordered ready made online. The gift of horticultural ammunition will enable your Guerilla Garden Suspect to spread some Horticultural Therapy to the masses via an unused piece of property……and let’s face it, that is what they like to do best.

For the Gardener who has Everything:
If money was no object I’m thinking that the Slugbot (a Slug Picking Robot) would make the ultimate garden novelty gift to give or receive. Ian Kelly, a computer scientist at the California Institute of Technology, developed a robotic slug catcher the size of a lawn mower that not only identifies and eliminates slugs but could eventually power itself with it’s victims’ bodies. I’m thinking that this might even be worth saving up for, especially if you live in the Pacific North West.
If the Slugbot is out of your gift giving price range there are still other more affordable options for the gardener who has everything. For instance, there are always going to be aches and pains from all of the kneeling, digging and deadheading that a Guerilla Garden Suspect ends up doing  so a gift certificate for a one-hour massage, where those aches and pains would be gently rubbed away would be a lovely gift idea. Also, a manicure certificate wouldn’t hurt either especially if you’re planning to invite your Guerilla Garden Suspect to a social event and you need them to be presentable. Plan ahead people!

For the Gardener who Deserves Crap for Christmas:
And finally if you absolutely must give crap for Christmas (for some families this is a tradition) try Bat Guano or Worm Castings.
Worm_Castings

Non-gardeners think I’m kidding. But seriously, any type of gardener would love to get this type of crap for Christmas. Bat Guano (bat poop) or Worm castings (worm poop) are like the caviar of organic fertilizers. At $10 for a small (and I mean small) bag of worm poop it feels too extravagant to buy it for yourself, however it would make an excellent gift.
If $10 still seems like too much to pay for crap, then for $3-$4 you can always buy a bag of mushroom, sheep or steer manure. It’s a Guerilla Garden fact…..Cheap Crap=Good Gift….and you might just get some tomatoes out of it!

Guerilla-Garden-Gnome-Cheap-Crap

Christmas Safety Note:
Keep your seasonal plants out of reach from children and pets.
They may or may not be poisonous and it is your job to make sure that you keep both the pets and the kids alive
……and besides who wants bite marks on their poinsettias.

Wishing you a safe, warm and happy Christmas

Brenda Dyck
Brenda Dyck
A Guerilla Gardener on an Adventure!

Fall Gardening Chores – Guerilla Garden Style

Fall_Garden_Chores

Some gardeners like to do a ton of clean up in early fall, however others like myself are trying to put off the inevitable approach of winter and are only now thinking of pulling up the last of the annuals, cutting back the perennials and doing a final weeding. I must admit that so far it is only a small thought and it might go away rather quickly. As a Guerilla Gardener I believe that there is no right or wrong approach to “putting the garden to bed” as Master Gardeners like to call it. My personal opinion is that the majority of perennials die back to the ground in late fall, and I consider these dead tops to be a lot like strands of hair. The live roots really don’t care one way or another if I decide to trim back those strands or leave them as they are, so I just might leave the seed pods and dried leaves on the plants. I will then use the term “winter interest” to describe my garden because it sounds so much better than “I didn’t get around to it”. Knowing that the dead leaves and stems will actually help protect the plant over winter and that seed pods will sometimes sprout new plants in the spring makes this kind of Guerilla Gardening especially guilt free! I know that a good cleaning up and “hair cut” will still be required in the spring, but by then I figure I’ll be so sick of winter and be suffering from “Severe Gardening Deprivation” that I will need a good fix of gardening just to feel normal again. I’m sure this method of Horticultural Therapy will work best for me!
And thinking about spring and Horticultural Therapy, just remember as a Guerilla Gardener it’s not too late to still be buying and planting spring bulbs. Bulbs that “naturalize” (it will say that somewhere on the package) are like little hidden time-bombs that explode every spring. There isn’t as much of a selection at this time of year but they will be on sale now, so if you come across a really good deal be sure to buy lots. Fill your coat pockets with some bulbs and then secretly pop them into your neighbors’ neglected gardens or containers, plant some around the base of trees on your way to work, or maybe strategically place them on the strata property in view of your living room window. After all, everyone feels happy when they see the first blooms of spring and I like to think of it as doing my part to provide free Horticultural Therapy to the masses. If you still have a few leftover bulbs then you could plant them in pots by your front door or even better yet plant a few miniature tulips or daffodils in a brightly colored pair of children’s boots to place on your doorstep to announce the coming of spring. .
*Note:- To plant a lot of bulbs really fast, dig a large hole and pitch in a dozen or more bulbs and cover them all up at once. Not only will this look spectacular when it blooms, but let’s face it, it’s usually rainy and cold this time of year and the less time spent outside the better! This method also leaves more time for a quick getaway if you need to avoid any Strata Garden Nazis that maybe on patrol. Just saying…..if you know what I mean.
And finally, take care of the boring but necessary fall gardening chore of cleaning your tools before putting them away for the season. It is recommended to wash and dry all tools and then wipe down the metal parts using an oily rag (vegetable oil can be used to be environmentally friendly) and then put them away for winter. Those who take such things really seriously have also been known to check any wooden handles for splinters and then sand them down before rubbing the wood with linseed oil. Basically my plan is to find/organize and clean the good tools I bought this year and to get rid of any old, unused tools. Here’s to the best laid plans!

PS-And for those Master Gardeners who are going to be totally horrified by the way my winter garden is going to look – I just quote

Guerrilla Gardener Non-Rule # 10
Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder!

Brenda DyckA Guerilla Gardener on an Adventure!