Guerrilla Gardening – Give it a Go.

Guerrilla Gardening in Ridgewood Queens

I’ve been thinking about starting a guerrilla gardening cell in my neighborhood for a while now, but realistically, I don’t have the time to organize an official group. I love the concept of changing (overnight) a dilapidated lot or forgotten outdoor space into a beautiful garden.

Wikipedia explains the concept well:

Guerrilla gardening is gardening on land that the gardeners do not have legal right to use, often an abandoned site or area not cared for by anyone. It encompasses a very diverse range of people and motivations, from the enthusiastic gardener who spills over their legal boundaries to the highly political gardener who seeks to provoke change through direct action. The land that is guerrilla gardened is usually abandoned or neglected by its legal owner…

Some guerrilla gardeners carry out their actions at night, in relative secrecy, to sow and tend a new vegetable patch or flower garden in an effort to make the area of use and/or more attractive. Some garden at more visible hours to be seen by their community.

Years back I stumbled upon and I was inspired. I planted flowers under the trees on the side walk of Woodbine St. between Fresh Pond Rd. and 64th – Matt’s old block. I was living on Long Island at the time so care and maintenance was difficult. Most of the plants didn’t make it but a hand full of the neighbors watered the flowers in front of their homes and those thrived.

More efforts… for the past two years I’ve been seed bombing a huge lot of space behind the RD – Matt and I call it the Ghostyard.

Ghost Yard Ridgewood Queens

Overgrown, behind the buildings - Ridgewood

Below are images of JR (Ghostyard Junior) – recently tenants moved out and the owner bordered up the backyard access, I’m trying to fight the weeds with my seeds. It’s been easier than “workin” Ghostyard Senior since the overgrowth is less dense. Queens should look into renting goats…

Ridgewood Queens Ghostyard

Ridgewood Queens Ghostyard

I’m ready for another go, this time with much more gardening experience under my belt. I choose a small project  that would be manageable.

Guerrilla Gardening in Ridgewood Queens

This tree bed on my block is close enough for me to keep an eye on and the soil looks pretty decent.

I decided to go with what I know will work best: drought-tolerant plants and flowers. I transplanted mint from my garden and spider plants, both of which grow under a multitude of conditions. For color, I picked up some hearty begonias! To finish it off, I sowed seeds into the soil in the hopes that they will sprout in a few weeks.

Guerrilla Gardening in Ridgewood Queens

The clean up

Guerrilla Gardening in Ridgewood Queens

Removing weeds

Guerrilla Gardening in Ridgewood Queens

Ready to go!

Guerrilla Gardening in Ridgewood Queens

The mint is the first to be planted! This will spread well and come back next year (so will the spiders).

Guerrilla Gardening in Ridgewood Queens

The spiders are left over from the Onderdonk House Flea Market Flo and I  participated in – that worked out well! And some were donated by QuarcNYC.

Guerrilla Gardening in Ridgewood Queens

Once I was done planting, I watered with miracle grow for an extra boost!

Guerrilla Gardening in Ridgewood Queens

I needed a focal point so I took this orange flower from the RD. It grew from seed – unfortunately I don’t recall the name of it. I do know, it’s very hardy.

In addition to the above mini dig, I’ve decided to seed bomb random locations on my way to Lucille Roberts in the morning. I’ve been picking up wild flower seeds at the dollar stores, most have them. The new dollar store on St. Nicholas and Woodbine has a good selection.


You don’t need a garden apartment or RD to get your hands dirty. If you enjoy gardening, think about trying a dig yourself. For tips and information visit The site has info on starting your own dig, joining existing cells, seed bombing techniques and photos of guerrilla gardeners from around the world.

This video is totally inspiring, my friend Danielle sent it to me.

If anyone is interested in spearheading a cell, maybe we can plan a more serious garden mission (bulb planting in the fall perhaps) – Hit me up!

tagged in gardening, ridgewood