This morning there was a little outing. Planting at a culvert beside the local train station with cyclists whizzing past and runners raising eyebrows.
It’s interesting working so close to the train line. I moved into this neighbourhood because of the public transport, and the lucky find of a place we could afford, discovered when I took a wrong turn on my bike coming home from work. The place was for private sale with a handmade sign and we had given up on finding anything in this spot. I appreciate the public transport, and rail freight too, a great deal. But some days I also reflect on the spectacularly ugly way we do these things here. I live in hope that the future will find better ways and that these trains will be powered more sustainably soon. I put in more weaving rushes on the banks of the channel, and some saltbush above it. There was a whole purple towel just inside the fence for the railway, but well past the end of the path. Curious. It can join the dyeing towels.
And then there was weeding. The best way to keep the poisoners at bay! Several of these plants have come up. This one is in bud. Does anyone more knowledgeable know what they are? I think my parents have them in their garden, where I think they give off a curry (fenugreek, perhaps) kind of scent in midsummer. Wandering about on the interwebs, Mum and Dad probably have Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum) and … this may not be the same plant, but I can’t readily identify it as [locally] native or a weed. Identification is a work in progress. Maybe the recent flooding rains have borne seeds here, as I have seen it nowhere else nearby. The plant growing in this reveg site I am working on also comes up in the older graves on the West Tce cemetery, where they have recently been poisoned along with the sow thistles. Poison, even in cemeteries. Friends, let me push up weeds if needs be, when the time comes. Weeds may be plants growing where they are unwanted but routine and repeated poisoning is not a great alternative.
It’s one of the things I love about guerilla gardening, and thinking of it as caring for Kaurna land in some small way, that I understand more and more of the small ways of the place around me. Both its suffering under trash and poison and the way plants grow and spread and long to live and small creatures find ways to get by or thrive. The previous round of plantings have survived and begun to grow.
I weeded out the things I recognise to be weeds (less fumitory, more prickly lettuce and flax-leaf fleabane this time). I left the unnamed plant. It may be native and is a handsome, hardy, silver leaved plant in any case.
On the weekend I weeded on my way home from the train station and there was a broken bucket to pick up and use, into the bargain. Chicken happiness, neighbourhood weeding, and trash turned into recycling, surely the trifecta of the guerilla weeder.
Then there were weedy poppies alongside the railway line. Beautiful.
And shirley poppies at home in abundance.
With bee revelry into the bargain.
One landed on my thumbnail to inspect me. I am not allergic but even so it gave me a start, then I blew gently on it, and off it went. Blessed are the bees and those of us lucky enough to be able to appreciate them.
7 responses to “This week in guerilla gardening”
My beekeeper teacher told us to avoid blowing at the bees, because she said they have a detection system for CO2 and for them raised levels of CO2 blown at them usually means “there is a bear breathing into the hive and he wants to steal our honey”. Which causes them to attack into the direction of the blower. I think blowing gently and being outside did the trick for you. But maybe it is good to know for the future. The teacher told us to just gently brush them off or shake them off. She herself let them stay all over her.
Anyway, I love reading about your guerilla gardening and everything. I haven’t tried it myself other than throwing out some seeds, but I am giving my baby plants to someone who plants them in the city. Maybe next year I will be more courageous.
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Thanks for the bee wisdom Khendra,
And, thanks so much for your generous comment. Guerilla gardening is fun. Maybe it won’t require as much courage as you think!
your post encapsulates how i feel about the whirled situation at present. planting, weeding, gathering up, not spreading poison and being inclusive. a model for living.
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Amen to that.
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