Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Guerrillas Are On The Attack - Again!!!

I spent the first few hours of my Earthday afternoon planting trees with other Londoners in Watson Park – last blog story. I would have liked to have stayed a bit longer, to plant more than just one tree, but I had plans to meet some friends to do some more planting of a different nature.

Since I had all the shovels, Day Lily tubers and measuring instruments to carry, I was driving my car this day. I unloaded the supplies at the meeting place and just as I was about to start my friends arrived to help.

Shawn, Ingrid and Kim had joined me – with four others – for my last guerrilla gardening adventure (story - and I was glad to work with them again.

The last two guerrilla attacks took place on the slopes of ditches, so that when the Day Lilies bloomed people would be able to see the designs we had created as they drove by in their cars. We planted the flowers to create the shape of a peace symbol. This time, however, I twisted this idea around a little bit to do something really unique.

This time, we were planting our flowers on flat ground. The area that I had selected is a flood plain by the Thames River. This land slopes upwards to a great height where the CN Rail train tracks were built. The idea was to create our flower art so that the passengers on the trains would be able to see it.

In my mind I was imagining many thousands of passengers from all over Southern Ontario and the States viewing our flower design. My hopes are to spread this fun idea to many others, possibly inspiring a few people to copy our idea to create their own peace flower designs in other cities around the world!

This area has a walking path going right passed our planting area and not to far off is a raised bike path. I’m hopeful that walkers and cyclists will also be able to see our design as the summer progresses. I’m hopeful that many walkers will actually visit our flowers to get a closer look. If this happens – and I’m sure that it will – our artwork will then become ‘interactive’ and more people will talk about it and know about it.

After a few minutes of discussing the process for planting, we began.

Shawn and I did most of the measuring so that our peace symbol was actually round.

I suspect that this will be the most successful guerrilla gardening attack yet! I had brought with me, over twice as many Day Lilies so that we could plant more, closer together.

At one point, Ingrid and I climbed up the sloping hill to get a better view of the progress of our work. As you can see the centre line of the peace symbol has been completed and about half of the circle.

Soon, we were all back to work as a team.

About twenty minutes later, the circle was finished. Now we simply had to complete the two 45 degree angles and then we’d be done.

As it turned out, Ingrid had the honour of planting the very centre flower.

From there, we stretched the two 45 degree angles outwards from the centre.

I’m sure that you can all imagine that we did a lot of talking while we planted. It was a great way to get know each other a bit more. Here, I was telling them the story of the time when Joanne and I were living in Nova Scotia. We had gone for a walk to a lookout point, where almost the entire town of Wolfville was in our sight and the waters of the Bay of Fundy stretched out to the horizon. Suddenly, just to my left I heard a slight rustling in the branches of a tall white pine tree. Joanne and I both turned our heads to witness the lift-off of a great Bald Headed Eagle. It flew just twenty feet away in front of us and it was only about ten feet above our heads. I told of the shivers that went through me as I could see each individual feather on this bird as it spread its wings. We could feel the air moving past our faces as its wings forced their way through the air. I’ll never forget that experience!

When we had finished our planting we all looked at each other wondering how we were going to take a group photo. As I mentioned earlier, their was a walking path just a few feet away, and while we were wondering what to do a couple passed by and we asked them to help us. They smiled as we told them about our peace flower and they were very happy to take our picture!

It had taken us just over two hours to create our peace flower and we were all a little dirty from the experience. Just a few steps away, the Thames River flowed by, so we took a little walk to wash up.

Ya know - it’s always great to have wonderful ideas that lead to wonderful adventures, but it’s even greater to be able to share these experiences with friends!



Shawn Jason said...

You are very inspiring Jim! Thanks :) It was really great to be a part of this day with you. Keep on shining bright my friend! ♥

Mira said...

This looks so neat! I love the idea. ^_^