Richard Reynolds has produced a delightful handbook for and about committed gardeners around the world who `fight filth with flowers' to transform `orphaned' public land into community space. It is a beautifully conceived book and it is no surprise it took two years to draw together the wonderfully humorous yet deadly serious stories of those around the world who have taken up the mantle of guerrilla gardening. The book derives tools for this trade from more easily recognisable guerrillas such as Che Guevara and Mao. Though not condoning any particular politics, Reynolds uses the examples of history to tease out what tools have been used and are open to those guerrilla gardeners fighting their own `little wars' against misused land around the world. The book is spiced up with stories of the many guerrilla gardeners he has encountered and are engaging, humorous, fascinating and inspiring. They are not big stories in themselves, but rather it is the collective efforts of the many that creates the dramatic effect, and ultimately political movement, that is now termed guerrilla gardening.
The book is more than just a documentation of what has already gone on, it is in itself a productive force that will no doubt alter the landscape by its publication. It is a book that will help to legitimate the democratisation of land at a much more local and individual scale than is true of most of the famous political `guerrillas' he draws insight from.
This is much more than a book about guerrilla gardening and will be of interest to geographers, political scientists, and students of planning and landscape. It is a treatise on the use and misuse of space that challenges the reader to think about how spaces are conceived, used, abused and also how the legal ownership and use of that land is not as fixed as it may appear. Gardening in this book is more than planting; it is a tool for the democratisation of space.