Londoners have for years made green interventions on our heavily paved city streets, squeezing in sunflowers in the planting holes of great plane trees, sowing seeds on roundabouts and planting fruit trees in neglected corners. Sometimes gardeners, sometimes not, the guerrilla gardening tactics they adopt are all for the same end, to make the grey streets of London greener, brighter and more cheerful. These revolutionary acts often progress into something more permeant and draw the community together.
Our third ‘Green London’ talk offers an opportunity to explore the motives behind guerrilla gardening, and its progression into something more permanent.
More about Green London:
Our Green London talks aim to bring together the groups, organisations and individuals working across the city to make it and keep it green. From guerrilla gardeners to tree growers, the talks are a place for sharing knowledge about how to get things done, where to start when it comes to greening your own neighbourhood and the people behind the successes that have resulted in London being the greenest city in the UK and Europe, and the world’s first National Park City.
Ellen Miles is an environmental justice activist and writer. She runs Nature is a Human Right, the campaign to recognise nature contact as a human right, which recently became the subject of an internationally published anthology (Nature is a Human Right, DK). She also founded Dream Green, a social enterprise that empowers people to become "guerrilla gardeners" – those who plant in public places, with purpose. In her spare time, she guerrilla gardens, organizing local action in Hackney and reaching millions on social media.
Andy plants and maintains the public green space across the Vauxhall Business Improvement district, including a number of ex-car parking bays along Vauxhall Walk, now filled with tropical plants, making the most of the London microclimate. He started gardening the streets after moving back to London after a number of years away, and made himself a career out of it, starting Spring Garden nursery, propagating plants to supplement the planting and sell to the community.
Luke Greysmith is an independent landscape architect with over 20 years of professional experience of large and small projects for public and private clients. He has worked on a variety of community led schemes and recognises the complexities of designing for the public realm but also the potential for positive outcomes. His involvement and experience at Derbyshire Street Pocket Park, in Bethnal Green, is an example of what can be achieved.