00-DAHLIA: My first Guerrilla Gardening mission

Agent Codename: 00-DAHLIA

Target:

Objective: Remove excessive amount of weeds that have grown in this flower bed.

Agent’s Debriefing:
My husband forgot to turn of the alarm clock this morning so I was up at 6:30am. Normally, this would earn my husband a solid elbow to the back (because of course he never wakes up to his alarm clock) but today I figured I might as well go ahead with my guerrilla gardening plans. My target was the Maple Heights Historical Society. It is an old red schoolhouse and is maintained as a museum. I suspected that the building was run only by volunteers and precious few at that. The flower beds were probably not their main priority and so the beds had gotten to the state it was currently in.

If you are planning on doing something like this, here are a few things that I considered:

  • Bring a cell phone. This may seem like this is all for fun, but the fact of the matter is that you are doing something that is not quiet legal. Guerrilla gardening frequently takes place in many areas that may not be the safest. A cell phone will make sure you are able to get in contact with someone should you need to.
  • Park your car where you can see it. Sometimes, when people see vehicles they don’t recognize and in people doing things they don’t understand, they get spooked. You don’t what to have your car towed while you are doing this.
  • Make sure you have some kind if ID on you. Back to the whole, technically you are trespassing thing. If the police do stop, they are more likely to be more sympathetic towards your efforts if you can prove that you have no outstanding warrants.

I got to the location and was dismayed to find that it was not just a bad infestation of quackgrass. The bed had been taken over by Canada thistle and bindweed as well. It was going to be a long morning. I pulled 5 overflowing 25 gallon bucket fulls of weeds. The problem is that the quackgrass will just come back without some kind of barrier laid down. I have to think about that.

COVERT OPERATIONS COMPROMISED!

The woman who takes care of the building showed up. She actually didn’t even blink an eye at me doing what I was. She smiled and waved at me then went into the building with her arms full of cleaning supplies. A little later, she, her husband and daughter came over to talk to me. She told me (as I suspected) that it was just her and two other very elderly women who cared for the property. It is hard for them to get to all the things that they need to get done. She even said that really, the landscaping is suppose to be taken care of by the city. No luck with that.

I offered to bring some plants from my yard this week and plant the flowers in the bed. I have a few that should work well as they are low maintenance and hardy. They are also the kind that can compete with and even choke out the weeds.

For today, I can say my mission is accomplished. The weeds were cleared out of the bed and it looks much better.

Later this week I will get over there and plant some flowers. I also told the woman I would stop by occasionally during the summer to take care of the beds around the place.

All in all, it was good. For the next mission, I will see if I can’t set up a meeting place so if anyone who stops by here wants to help, they can. I will have to keep my eye out for a good place to garden at.

This is Agent 00-DAHLIA signing off. This webpage will self-destruct in 10 seconds.

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