Wednesday, August 4, 2010

First And Then Last

A little over a month ago, I began the process of weeding the areas surrounding the flowers that I’d planted in some of the ditches around London. I’ve shared stories about two of these guerrilla gardening attacks before - &

This is the short story about the guerrilla gardening attack area that I planted by myself, earlier this spring. These flowers were the first to be planted and the last to be weeded – and I’m sure that they didn’t mind!

This is what the area looked like when I arrived. You can see that one of the Day Lilies has bloomed, but you can’t see that it was planted to make the shape of a peace symbol. This year, the lilies are all healing from the transplanting.

I’m happy that any flowers bloomed at all – I’d estimate that between 20-25 flowers bloomed this year. Next year should see all the flowers blooming at the same time – thus making the peace symbol easily recognizable with an estimated 25-35 flowers each day for the entire blooming season – 3 weeks. That’s a total of over 900 flowers!!!

I chose this location for two reasons. 1) I drove my bus past this location once a day, to take my high school students home – so I planted these flowers for them.

2) As you can see, this is a fairly high traffic area (especially during rush hour) with traffic going in both directions. The location of my peace flowers can be viewed from both directions – thus doubling the amount of people who will be able to see this design.

By pulling and cutting the grasses that surround the lilies I’ve taken away the flowers’ competition for sunlight allowing the flowers to grow bigger and stronger.

I bunch up the weeds and grasses that I’ve pulled and lay them on the ground about eight inches to the side of my flowers.

The grasses and weeds dry, changing to a light brown colour and when I’m finished the peace symbol is recognizable again. You can see the lilies in the middle of the design.

This peace symbol will be seen by thousands of drivers over the next two months. At the end of this time, the weeds and grasses will have grown tall again and it’ll be time for me to do a little more weeding. Until then, I’ll simply enjoy the results of my peaceful labours…


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