Guerrilla Gardening: What Is It And Is It Legal?

Urban gardeners are bringing plant life to their neighborhoods—whether they’re allowed to or not



Both urban and suburban areas are filled with unused lots and neglected plots of land. Some plant lovers looking to add greenery to these areas have opted to take matters into their own hands. Guerrilla gardening is the practice of planting flowers or edible plants in neglected private or public spaces. It’s a sort of horticultural graffiti that can serve as a form of protest, though it also simply serves the purpose of cultivating life in places that have been abandoned.

Historically, guerrilla gardeners have operated under the cloak of darkness, working at night to avoid detection, though today the practice is more commonly accepted.


The History of Guerrilla Gardening

This style of gardening has been around in some form for centuries—though it hasn’t always gone by the name guerrilla gardening. That term was introduced in 1973 by Liz Christy, who created the Green Guerrilla group in New York to transform an unused lot into a verdant garden. Since then, the concept has taken off worldwide, from the most populous urban areas to small villages in the developing world.

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