Saturday, April 14, 2007

Guerilla gardener goes on vacation

I am sitting here in the beautiful Okanagan, British Columbia, visiting family. The Okanagan is known for its favourable climate, which is ideal for growing tree fruits and grape vines. A drive into any agricultural area is startling though. Fruit trees are being sawed down and burned. The contours of the land are recreated by machines and acres of milk cartons sheltering little grape vines are springing up everywhere. The wine industry obviously is more lucrative than apples and apricots. It's sad but true.

While here, I had to visit the local garden center to see the fresh spring offerings. The bare dirt at the folks' place was gnawing at my gardener's heart. How could you live in zone 6 and have nary a hellebore or rhododendron in your yard! So you have the occasional urban deer who grazes on your plantings? Throw in some fritillaries for their stench and some pretty spring daffodils.

The bare containers made the place look so stark, so I filled two of them with pansies, yellow narcissi, and tulips. Yes, potted tulips. Ordinarily, I would have a problem with the laziness inherent in buying a pre-chilled and greenhouse-grown potted tulip, but I suppose that's why you pay more for the potted plant than the bulb. I also considered that this uncalled-for planting is as near as I have come to guerilla gardening -- a political, nonviolent gardening action done on someone else's property. I'm not sure what my political statement was. but you can be sure there was no violence involved.


Strolling buddy said...

Guerilla gardening - I love it! The containers look great...I can hardly wait 'til we can do some planting up here. We've had lots of sun but still about a foot of snow in the yard.

One place out in the Okanagan that has combined orchard fruit with the art of wine-making is Elephant Island. Delicious - check it out if you have the time.

See you soon...looking forward to more walks when you get back!

Kate said...

I hope you will arrive back in La Ronge to a garden that is showing signs of life. It has warmed up here ... and I have found a perfect location for some urban beautification ... Putting flowers in barren places seems to me to be an act of pure goodness.

(I used to pass a woman in a park who diligently weeded some baby oak trees and planted numerous flowers. One year, there was no sign of her, and I've always wondered what happened to her. Perhaps this is the year to take up where she left off ...)