Guerrilla Gardening in Los Angeles | SubCultures

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-The sort of short sentence
of guerilla gardening is gardening on public property
without permission. But essentially, it’s finding
plots all over the city that are dirty
or overrun with weeds and trash and things like that
and then going in and making it a garden,
making it pretty. -It’s fun to have
that sort of sense of danger, even though
there’s no real danger of anything really happening
’cause if anybody stops us or anything like that,
it’s always like, “What are you guys doing?”
-“We’re gardening.” And wait, and they’re like,
“Okay. Good.” And they leave. -When you have taken a piece
of land that had trash and weed and wasn’t taken care
of, and then, you know, the next morning,
you have a garden there and then you come back
a week later, you know, a month later, a year later and you see how that’s
transformed the neighborhood, it’s a really great feeling to
know that you caused the change. -We originally started at night. That was sort of the “guerilla.” Someone went to bed
with no garden and woke up and walked out and saw a garden. There’s kind of —
That’s a cool element. So I think that’s something
that I get out of it. But I think the most important
for me is building community. Do you guys want to garden?
Yeah? -Seriously, you want to?
-Grab a shovel. -Come on, man. Here.
-Come on. -It’s amazing to see all these
different people who never
would have met otherwise and have this
kind of common interest. Again,
maybe not massive gardeners, but just an interest
in sort of beautifying and taking ownership
of something. -So, what we do is we garden
and find spots, like, out in public. There isn’t anything here,
right? So we just find a spot like this and we plant plants
and we’re like — We just do it. We don’t ask for permission
or anything like that. We just do it.
-[ Laughs ] -Go ahead, man. Dig a hole.
Go for it. -Awesome. Let’s do it.
-See how it goes. -The most diverse group
of people I’ve ever met has been through
guerilla gardening. People who are
producers of movies and, like, homeless people. All ages, from, like, tiny,
tiny kids to people in their — probably in their 90s
who wouldn’t be interacting in any other way. -For me,
I’m kind of a spontaneous, want-to-get-it-done-now person. That’s what’s great
’cause I could right now say, “Oh, I see a spot,”
and then tomorrow show up with plants
and put it in. -I heard about
guerilla gardening a few months before my birthday, and I was like,
“Oh, that would be a great idea to do that,
rather than going out to a bar and getting drinks or whatever. Hey, everybody,
we’re gonna make a garden. Bring some plants.” -Kenneth and I actually dated
for I don’t — a year, I think. And so…
[ Laughs ] So actually, during when we did
our first garden, it was for his birthday,
and we were dating and then decided
it would be awesome to try to start
a company together. [ Laughs ] We did and now we are here
and it’s worked out. -We put up a website so that people could
get the information. It wasn’t meant to be, like, this organization
or anything like that. It just became that afterwards. Do you want — So, do you
want the Kalanchoe on this side? -We worked really hard to,
you know, remain friends
and keep it kosher and great. And, yeah, I’m glad, actually. I don’t think
we would be friends without guerilla gardening. -Guerilla gardening
has really changed the way that I’ve looked at the world
in general. I’m constantly looking
for a place to put a garden. -My mom always makes fun
’cause she used to make my brother and I,
you know, weed or do stuff in her yard, but we hated it. And now I’m running
a gardening organization. I learned, actually,
that there’s something really great about
touching dirt and being, like — and it sounds a little cheesy, but to be kind of
one with the earth and actually get in there
and do that, which I think in a city
like L.A., a lot of people
don’t get to do that because you don’t have
a backyard. It’s most important to know
that if you want to do it, you can,
and you should do it tomorrow. I mean, it’s easy. -The way to start
a guerilla garden — First thing is you want to do
a little bit of research about what type of plants
work well for your area. -What we do is all succulents
and drought-tolerants, so it’s actually really easy
to maintain. There’s not a ton of water. -And then you start
figuring out, “Where can I find the spot
that’s gonna work?” -Small is better than big. You want something
you can kind of maintain. The bigger it gets, the harder
it is to take care of. -Places that are near
where you live, where you work, or where you go to school because you want to take care
of the garden and not just plant it once
and leave it because it might turn into
what you had. Just do it. You know, a lot of people think, “Oh, it’s got to be
a perfect spot in the perfect conditions.” You know, experiment,
throw something in there, see what happens. You know,
a lot of people ask, like, “Is guerilla gardening
a political statement?” Guerilla gardening for me
isn’t a political statement. It’s just something that
I want to do for my community. I just hope
that it inspires other people to take ownership
of their own community, their own area,
and it causes them to be inspired to take action.


  1. if only those were weed plants then th'd really be doing the city a favor help get those crackheads off of the wack and on to the green, that would really green up the streets in more ways than one 🙂

  2. Brilliant!!! I've been contemplating a neighborhood cleanup & how to get ppl involved. Perfect idea! Gonna have to use this! Keep up the good work!

  3. the idea is not just planting, but also making a community… you don't really build a community and get random people seeing you gardening and wander over from off the street to help plant with you by *landscaping*

  4. uhh-ohh the hippys cant find any acid again hahaha no this is great guys, you should rock some trees though, helping the environment that much more ;P

  5. What a wonderful idea! It would be cool if we brought this sort of thing to other areas, like not just in gardening. 🙂

  6. At the risk of sounding all soppy… this is so heart-warming! If you want to enlist more volunteers or maybe encourage the same or similar activities in other countries, you could post your projects to World Citizen (worldwideweb fullstop world-citizen fullstop com). Just a thought 🙂

  7. You Guys Rock…
    Many Blessing
    …Hint…Pacasandra & brain fart , taxus , aborvida … but there was something and it is drriving me crazy that would fit into your climate …Pac & ?…!!! sorry… SMR

  8. I watched 3 more times and I can't remember what I Brain farted on!!! … I will and put it right here on the comments
    Many Blessings… Keep up the Good Work

  9. Just wondering, Do Guerrilla Gardeners typically live in apartments? I feel part of the motivation is that they do not have their own yard to do the same. This sounds fun, I live in the burbs, and everything nearby that is public is very well kept, ??unfortunately??

    I have had to help with gardening in the yard all my life, and sure I resented it in my childhood and early adolescence. But as I matured, I gained a real appreciation of gardening, not to mention the work and skills required.

  10. They typically call'em Landscaping companies.

    But you'd have to find private property owners or the local municipality leaders willing to pay for what was, until now, not that important.

    However, many businesses and home owners pay top dollar for upkeep of there outdoors areas. Additionally, smaller banks or private home investors have been known to need this sort of work for foreclosed properties with overgrown yards.

    Hope that helps, and you weren't too offended by my initial sarcasm.

  11. I thought about that too, I guess its not for everybody.

    If this were a thing I could do in my area: kickstarter.

    But I guess this could be considered a hobby or a form of charity. Not everyone subscribes to such notions of giving back, as it is hard looking out for #1 these days. But we are social creatures, and we share space, especially in big cities. So contributing to society is directly valuable, if you can afford it. And indirectly, you'll find it does come full circle.

  12. Hey guys, glad you brought this up! They actually get a lot of donations from home owners who have extra plants laying around, as well as donations from smaller local stores and they simply tell folks what they're doing. Rebecca actually grows a lot of succulents at her home, which you can clip off to start new plants which is a really economical way of doing this. If you're interested in GG, don't be afraid to ask around for donations, you may be surprised! 🙂

  13. Such a cool idea! I love how communal you guys make it 🙂
    I used to live in a rural area & ever since I moved to the city I've missed green spaces

  14. This and the way it's been approached is legitimately a cool idea. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside about the humanity again. Hopeful, if you will.

  15. You ought to try some California natives in California. They are usually drought tolerant and very cool. I do random plantings of California poppies since they don't require much maintenance and reseed and usually keep going. California fushia works well also. Good stuff keep it up!

  16. Communism is where the government does everything for you. What I'm talking about is the opposite. Doesn't matter though, if you take a stand on anything some will demonize you – but some will agree with you too. Imagine a society where what was done depended more upon what works than what makes the most money for those with the most power.

  17. Paccasandra and Blanket Juniper low maintenance and pretty… YEA…

    I knew I would remember

    Many Blessings and Good Work


  18. DUde! i wanted to do something like this for the longest time. I"ve been really into the idea of RAK, and it started with going through a toll and paying for someone behind me. Then I did the same with Sbux, and Id pay for a coffee order @ the drivethru for someone behind me. Then I decided to go around with washable window marker and write inspiring quotes on random cars. Recently I had this Idea of "Anti-pranking", and it would be something similar to this: G.G. Love it guys! Keep on keepin on

  19. I wouldn't think it would be too hard to fund small planting projects. Plants are not expensive. The places they plant are not enormous. Tools are something you have at your home and can share or buy and reuse over and over. I assume they have some sort of income. There might be a lot of them. It doesn't seem unaffordable in the least.

  20. i didnt say it was communism i said conservatives would call it communism because there is no centralised corporate control. it is society working together to better society.

  21. Succulents are cheap to get and maintain, their labor is volunteered and they can split costs among the people setting it up

    I mean that's how I see it having lived in quite a few apartments complex and like keeping a garden at least in the patio area

  22. That's awesome people are doing this, but they should really be growing edible foods, not just pretty plants. Still a good thing though, people should check this out.


  23. The title was mis-pronounced.
    for you English speakers its
    "how hipsters get their kicks, illegal gardening"
    I hope they fix it before anyone notices.

  24. Such an awesome subculture to learn about.
    The entire series is such an amazing concept to spotlight local niche communities.

  25. Blackbarries, cherry trees.. are cheap and do not need any care! = FREE FOOD TOO = INDEPENDENCE = ABUNDANCE TO ALL = SOVEREIGNTY = LIBERTY = NOBDY CAN BUY / SELL US any more (no need to work for to pay food)

  26. Try Alcea rosea. or Antirrhinum majus.
    It grows every where, huge results and beautiful flowers!
    Got a lot of seeds if you want some.
    By the way, sorry for my bad english!
    From France,

  27. I'm this type of person since birth from writing on walls to urbex weird I find my self just getting back into gardening I wanna make a food forests do something for the homeless with out actively helping them so I can give back to the community as I've been there but found myself getting being to proud at times to go food banks yer they good don't get me wrong but they don't teach you how to fend for yourself maybe I just don't like to accept free help with out learning to do things my self and it be for them homeless that I believe deserve something like that or anyone that living off the grid and foraging what a nice change that would be. If you look you shall be gifted nothing good comes easy. -Alex Cantlow.

  28. I want to do this but gorilla farming .. like with vegetables and natural foods .. HOW ? I’ve never farmed before 😅

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