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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and informative read., 28 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Guerrilla Gardening: A Manualfesto (Paperback)
Inspiring really is the best word I can think of to describe this book.

I've got a few 'projects' in mind and come the nicer weather I hope to get up to some dastardly plant based deeds in the near future.

A really funny book, made reading it a fun experience. You can read cover to cover or use it as a manual as it's filled with a load of great advice and tips. All presented in a very novice friendly manner. Even a complete scrub like myself has come out the end of this book feeling confident enough to throw on a pair of gloves, grab my shovel and get going.

Brilliant read. :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Its better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission..., 2 Oct 2011
This review is from: Guerrilla Gardening: A Manualfesto (Paperback)
"Its better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission" - so runs the underlying theme of this wonderfully readable and entertaining guide to everything you'll ever need to know about the more subversive end of the urban community gardening movement. Guerilla gardening can be as simple as spontaneously clearing up litter and pulling out a few weeds from outside your front door to something as involved as collectively squatting derelict land and turning it into a beautiful or productive green space for the benefit of all.

Tracey places guerilla gardening into a historical context, from Adam and Eve (whatever became of the seeds of that forbidden fruit???), and the potato planting nomads of North West India over 1000 years ago, through to the (probably mythical) early American travelling tree planter Johnny Appleseed, the Yippies and Green Guerillas of 1970s urban USA, right up to the "Resistance Is Fertile" Direct Activists of May Day 2000 in Parliament Square and beyond. Strangely overlooked however are Gerard Winstanley and the Diggers, who in 1649 came to work the land in common at St Georges Hill in Surrey before being brutally suppressed by the local gentry. California Governor Ronald Reagun's forcible eviction of the Berkeley People's Park in 1969, during which a bystander was killed and hundreds more injured when police opened fire on demonstrators, shows that when it comes to land access for the people, the attitudes of the Men of Property have not changed a great deal over the centuries...

Which isn't to say that would-be guerilla gardeners should feel intimidated against committing random acts of planting - on the contrary, Tracey argues that a polite, good humoured and non-confrontational attitude will go far when challenged by the authorities, and may well yield positive results. Most people actually prefer flowers, trees and herbs to grey concrete and litter, and whilst the green guerrillas who plant up vacant lots, back alleys and boulevards from London to New York are technically guilty of illegal trespass, the spectacle of prosecutions does little other than highlight officialdom's own lack of resources or commitment towards providing urban environments fit for the people they claim to serve.

Winstanley observed that "The earth is a common treasury for all", and we can all sow our small seeds without waiting for an official say-so. Not so long ago I found a few onion sets at the bottom of my pocket whilst waiting for a train - I pushed these into the soil of a neglected flower bed by the bench, and hey presto! a few months later free onions for anybody that cared to pick them...
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Guerrilla Gardening: A Manualfesto
Guerrilla Gardening: A Manualfesto by David Tracey (Paperback - 4 Jan 2007)
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