Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 160

Guerrilla Gardening


Hello Everyone




Have you ever heard of guerrilla gardening?


No, this isn’t the gorilla that is a large, black ape and lives in forests in Africa.


Guerrilla gardening is gardening on land that the gardeners do not own but is often an abandoned site or area that doesn’t seem to be cared for by anyone.


There are lots of people doing this because they think it is sad to see a shabby, neglected piece of land in a city that would look better as a beautiful garden with flowers, bushes and trees or even sometimes vegetables and fruit.


Sometimes, the guerrilla gardeners create their new gardens in the night time under cover of darkness because they shouldn’t really be interfering with someone else’s property, and they don’t want to be seen.


Then, in the morning when people get up and walk or drive to work or school they see a patch of land that seems to have been transformed as if by magic overnight – and it looks better than it did.


There were guerrilla gardeners as far back as the mid 17th century in England, but the term was coined (invented) in the 1970s in New York, and now takes place in over 30 countries across the world.


Of course, sometimes plants grow because they were planted by humans by accident, for example if people throw an apple core out of a car window or fig seeds that go through people and are washed out in sewage to get caught in the banks of rivers.


There was a scheme once to get people to throw lupin seeds out of train windows in Scotland to spread flowers along the railway banks.


Poppy seeds can lie dormant (asleep) in earth for up to forty years, and when disturbed by building works or a plough can start to grow.


Gardens can be a small patch of earth by the road or on a roundabout, or a larger patch of ground between buildings.


Sometimes, if people want to help but they don’t want to actually do any gardening, they contribute seeds or plants or small trees that would be suitable to grow in an urban environment to a group who are active garden guerrillas.


Sometimes they donate tools or equipment.


The plants should be the kind of plants that don’t need a lot of looking after and will do well in the spot where they are going to be planted – for example in quite poor soil or a shady position.


lt is possible that these plants won’t have anyone watering them after they have been planted.


Sometimes, when groups have created a new garden that they are really proud of, they post photographs on the lnternet to try and inspire others to do the same in their neighbourhood.


The latest good news is that after years of getting into trouble, Guerilla Gardeners now have the approval of many local authorities and can quite happily go out gardening in the daylight!


And as this is the time of year when gardeners start planting in gardens for the new season, there may be many new gardens being planned right now as l write.


Have you ever seen a garden appear overnight?


Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


Love and kisses


Salty Sam






Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob: Do you know what dad said when he fell in the manure heap?


Bill: No, what did he say?


Bob: Shall l leave out the swear words?


Bill: l think you probably should.


Bob: Well, he didn’t say anything then!




Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to



Picture Gallery



Guerrilla gardeners can be anybody who wants to join in



1st May is International Guerrilla Gardeners’ Sunflower Planting Day



Urban spaces look pleasanter



Any little corner can be transformed



Recycled objects can be used



Seed bombs are an effective way of planting seeds in hard to get to places (Blog Post 39)



Plants in urban areas can be any size as long as there is room for them to grow

This is a cherry tree



Trees can produce crops as well – these are developing cherries



When pockets of soil are small and of poor quality then rock garden plants

like this alyssum fit the bill



Iberis is another rock garden plant that has pretty flowers



Sedums also don’t need much soil to grow in and have a long flowering period



Michaelmas daisies can look after themselves and then seed themselves – they flower through the autumn



Cyclamen do well in dark areas under trees

They will look after themselves and spread



Lupins can be many different colours









This week Bill, Bob and Emily have written another quiz for you. 

This time it is a ladder-word puzzle and it fits into the theme of the blog post.




You need to change one letter each time to get from pots   mats.


  1. Things you plant flowers in
  2. What you find inside peaches
  3. A way of serving food inside pastry
  4. Thing men wear around their neck
  5. Pieces of advice
  6. Found inside apples and pears
  7. If you prick a balloon, it ____
  8. Used to clean floors
  9. People use them to find their way
  10. People wipe their feet on these when they come in from the garden
















Quick Quiz


What do these phrases mean?


  1. the flower of
  2. to lead someone up the garden path
  3. to go to seed
  4. a night owl
  5. keep it dark
  6. on the road to recovery
  7. to get the show on the road








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lt’s the Weekend!






This is a way that you can have a miniature garden even if you don’t have any ground of your own at all.

You can use a traditional basket that needs to be lined or a modern one that has holes cut in the side when you buy it.


You will need:


A basket

Peat-free multi-purpose potting compost

Water retentive gel

Long-life fertilizer

Plants of your choice (nothing that will want to grow more than 30cm/a foot high)

A watering can (or washing up liquid bottle filled with water)


  1. For the traditional basket, first line it with a liner that will show through to the outside, and then some plastic that will hold in water, and make holes where you want to place you plants with a knife (you may need an adult to help you with this part).
  2. Put some handfuls of compost in the basket and mix in a small handful of fertilizer and a small handful of water-retaining gel.
  3. Plant four plants with the tops pointing through to the outside after you have taken them out of their pots.
  4. If you have a modern plastic basket, you need to put the grids/plates into place to make the side holes smaller after you have put your plants into position.
  5. Fill the basket up to the top with more compost, fertilizer and gel.
  6. Plant a plant or three into the top of the basket.
  7. Water well.


    • You will need to water your basket about three times a week in cool weather and maybe every day in hot weather
    • The plants might appreciate some more liquid fertilizer in their water towards the end of the summer


Flowers that are often used in hanging baskets are:-











Fuchsias come in many different colours


You can also use ivy for training foliage or spider plants for light-coloured foliage.

Some baskets only have plants in the top not at the side, these look good with succulents in them. (Blog Post 37)

*If you need to stand on a ladder or step stool to hang up your basket, be very careful you don’t fall off. It might help if someone holds you and the ladder, or better still get an adult to hang the basket up for you.



A modern plastic hanging planter is easy to use



Some planters have water trays underneath



A traditional wire basket has to be lined



Wicker baskets are also available



Fruit, vegetables or herbs can be grown



A cone planter



A tropical-looking display



Succulents don’t need as much watering as flowers



You might find someone else wants to share your planters smile1 (2) 




Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Answers to the News Desk Quiz


  1. pots
  2. pits
  3. pies
  4. ties
  5. tips
  6. pips
  7. pops
  8. mops
  9. maps
  10. mats






Quick Quiz Answers


  1. the flower of – the best of
  2. to lead someone up the garden path – to mislead them
  3. to go to seed – to stop caring about your physical appearance
  4. a night owl – a person who likes to stay up late
  5. keep it dark – to keep something a secret
  6. on the road to recovery – to start getting better
  7. to get the show on the road – to get a plan or organization into operation




Owls are nocturnal – that means that they are awake at night



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