Guerrilla Gardening Downtown Planting

As mentioned in the previous post, once again this year I am the downtown coordinator for the Toronto Guerilla Gardeners, which means that I get to pick the spot in the downtown area that we will garden, and coordinate our efforts on the day of the plant.


I did this last year as well, so I’ve had all year to plan our refresh of this garden.


I borrowed a small rototiller from Byron, because I knew from last year that the ground is super hard and in need of work – last year we spent two long hours with shovels to prepare just a small zone. This year, with the help of the rototiller, we were able to prepare about half of the entire lot!! The soil sadly isn’t very deep: about 4 inches down, there is a very hard gravel-based subsoil, which is best left as is. We added about 8 bags of soil (thank you Toronto Awesome Foundation, some of your money well spent! Also thanks to Terry and the Guerilla Gardening Mobile, for actually doing the leg work on that), plus we moved a 3 foot stretch of soil from the ungardened area into the gardened area. The combination of those two got us a workable amount of soil over the whole prepared area.


Which brings us to: donated plants! Thanks to a wonderful donation from now non-anonymous Sheridan Nurseries (thank you!) of as many Iris’s and Astilbe’s as we wanted (they had 1000+ of each), we got 13 big boxes of perennials. This is what allowed us to dream so big this year! Thanks to Linda’s awesome direction and knowledge, we made a rivers and islands layout for the garden, which turned out so beautiful. Combined with the awesome black mulch, the garden looks incredible and alive.

The final touch was the fence. Ewan and Christopher and I spent the morning building fence pieces, and once again it just takes the garden that extra mile. It also clearly marks the garden out as a special zone, which should keep the drunk people from tramping through it. I’m absolutely overawed at what we managed to accomplish in a single afternoon – it went from looking like an abandoned piece of land to looking like a well maintained front-yard flower garden, and sooo many of the neighbors stopped by while we were working to say thank you. We asked them all to help us keep the garden watered, hopefully, they will!

See the complete flickr set: Guerilla Gardening Downtown 2012

Thanks to everyone who came out, I for one had a fabulous time and I know that this kind of thing can’t be done alone, it’s best done with friends!