Archive for the ‘May’ Category

Guerilla Gardener Internet Funnies
World Naked Gardening Day

From Wikipedia:
World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) is an annual international event celebrated on the first Saturday of May by gardeners and non-gardeners alike. According to NBC’s Today News, WNGD “has become an annual tradition that celebrates weeding, planting flowers and trimming hedges in the buff.

Note: the World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) organization does actually have a website but I’m not providing a link because some things just can NOT be unseen.

I can guarantee that this is one Garden Holiday
that I will not be participating in!

Guerilla Garden Seedbomb

Brenda Dyck
A Guerilla Gardener on an Adventure



May Guerilla Gardener

While surfing the internet and shopping at various garden centers, I’ve been noticing a trend in gardening clothes that are sold as fashion items for the well dressed Master Gardener.
Generally speaking, as a Guerrilla Gardener when I garden I alternate between two sets of fashion clothing.
First, the ones I have on when I suddenly decide to do some gardening, and then the ones I change into later when my significant non-gardening other tells me to get out of my decent clothes before I wreak them. If my husband’s not around I am frequently seen by my neighbors watering or pulling weeds in my good sandals, a dress, good skirts, business suits or other inappropriate clothing such as my pajamas. I once was even seen mowing the lawn after work in a skirt and high heels. This is not quite as crazy as it seems-the high heels almost act as aeration for the lawn.
However, if I have a reminder from my husband or good sense prevails (and it does sometimes happen) I will put on old clothes (AKA my “Raggedy Ann” look) before gardening. I usually end up smeared with dirt early on and somehow do not in any way seem to resemble the put together women I see in gardening ads.
What can I say; as a Guerrilla Gardener I am loveable but messy creature.
Nevertheless, here are a few tips for the more fashion conscious Guerrilla Gardener:

1. A Fabulous Hat
A cowboy hat, a bonnet, or a top hat-you choose! Personally I don’t like wearing hats, but if you must (due to sunstroke, rain or being bald) at least keep it interesting.

2. One Old Comfortable Jacket
Choose a dark color so it won’t show the dirt and make sure the pockets are large enough for putting tools in or for filling up with seeds and cuttings to be planted on or liberated from some public piece of property.

3. Gloves
I always buy them with the best of intentions, but usually end up loosing one and end up just digging into the dirt with my hands. One thing I have learned, if you’re going to use gloves you need to make sure they fit properly. If gloves are uncomfortable to wear, it is usually because they don’t fit correctly. A good pair of gloves must fit well (not too tight or too loose) and allow for comfortable finger and wrist movement. Not only will your hands be cleaner when you use gloves but they will help protect your hands from bugs (if you’re squeamish), prickly weeds and lessen the “soil damage” done to your hands and nails when gardening.

4. Footwear
• Sloggers and Crocs – are some of the best gardening shoes there are! Easy to slip on and off, comfortable, water resistant and they come in a variety of colors. Just remember, no matter what anybody says….these are only considered fashionable when worn in the garden and are still considered quite dorky when worn in public!!!
• Rubber boots – now come in flowered patterns and assorted bright colors and other patterns as well. Again-what’s fashionable in the garden is not always considered fashionable in public…or so I am told.
• Bare feet – Grass is sometimes the best footwear, parasites be damned! Feeling the grass between your toes is some of the best garden therapy you will ever experience.

5. Accessories
• Rain gear –I consider this optional, after all if it’s that cold and raining who wants to garden anyways. However keep in mind that if you have a rain poncho it could act like a cape when you’re on a guerilla garden mission.
• Assorted plastic cocktail glasses -fill with beverage of your choice to help you toast your successes and drown your defeats in style throughout the growing season. Note: Little umbrellas and colorful straws are a nice added touch as well!
• Aprons- these are a nice touch but are a dead give away that something is up if you’re on a seed bombing expedition.

 Guerilla Garden Fashion

So there we have it, not a fashion designer’s dream, but these Guerrilla Gardener fashion tips are guaranteed to make life a lot more interesting for you and your neighbors.

May Guerilla Gardener

Deciphering Latin Names

Have you ever been intimidated, impressed or feel like an idiot when a Master Gardener starts spouting Latin names to describe their plants?
Being a Guerilla Gardener, you may think knowing the Latin names of plants makes you a garden snob and find it annoying when you can’t even begin to pronounce a name that contains more letters than the alphabet.
I must admit that this Guerilla Gardener didn’t really think it was something that would ever pertain to Guerilla Gardening.
Until I learned that Latin plant names contain hidden messages that can give us clues to the shape, the color of its leaves or stem, when it flowers, or how tall it grows, etc.
For example, when I first started gardening I used to buy strawflower plants. For about 5 years they grew about 12-14 inches tall and had a nice round form. The sixth year I planted them all around my deck, they grew to be 3-4 ft tall. I couldn’t understand what happened! The word “Giganteum” in the Latin name should have tipped me off. Turns out that there are different varieties of strawflowers and one of the few ways to know the difference is by the Latin name.
Since I have no desire to learn a useless language that nobody speaks anymore, I made my own Guerilla Gardener Cheat Sheet. I like to think of it as a Guerilla Gardener Decoder Ring to decipher Latin plant names;

Argenta – silver
Albus, Alba, Album – white, pale
Aurea – gold
Caerulea or Azur – blue
Flavus, flava, flavum – yellow
Glauca – blue or whitish gray
Gilviflorus, Gilviflora, Gilviflorum – pale yellow flower
Incanus, Incana, Incanum – gray
Niger, Nigra, Nigrum – black
Purpurea – purple
Rosea – pink
Rubra, Sanguinea or Coccineus – red or scarlet
Virens – green
Viridiflorus, viridiflora, viridiflorum – green flowered

Growth Habits

Alta – tall
Aestivalis, Aestivale – of summer
Angustifolius, Angustifolia, Angustifolium – narrow leaves
Aphyllus, Aphylla, Aphyllum – leafless
Aborescens – tree like
Aristosus, Aristosa, Aristosum – bearded
Contorta – contorted
Diffusus, Diffusa, Diffusum – spreading
Globosa – round
Graveolens – heavily scented
Giganteum or Macro – large
Floribunda – free flowering
Fastigiata – erect
Fruticosus, Fruticosa, Fruticosum – shrubby
Grandiflora – large flowering
Grandifolius, Grandifolia, Grandifolium – great leaves
Horizontalis – horizontal
Humilis, Humile – low growing
Inodorus, Inodora, Inodorum – unscented
Latifolia – broad leaved
Maritumus, Maritima, Maritimum – of the sea
Milleflorus, Milleflora, Milleflorum – thousand flowered
Nanus or Nana – dwarf
Odorata – fragrant
Officinalis, Officinale – medicinal
Pallidiflorus, Pallidiflora, Pallidiflorum – pale flowered
Pendula – weeping
Procumbens- trailing
Radicans – rooting
Repens or Reptans – creeping
Rotundifolius, Rotundifolia, Rotundifolium – round leaved
Ruqosa – wrinkled
Scandens – climbing
Semper – always
Sylvaticus, Sylvatica, Sylvaticum – wild, in woods
Thyoides – citrus like
Tomentosus, Tomentosa, Tomentosum – hairy
Viscosus, Viscosa, Viscosum – sticky
Vulgaris – common

Plant Origins 

Alpinus or Saxatilis – alpine or rocky
Aquaticus, Aquatica, Aquaticum – in water
Canadensis – Canada
Japonica -Japan
Occidentalis -North America
Orientalis – Asia
Sinensis -Chinese
Indicus, Indica, Indicum – India
Montana – mountains

Hopefully this will help you decipher the secrets of Latin names, however just remember when it comes to pronunciation, you’re on your own!

Brenda Dyck
A Guerilla Gardener on an Adventure