Some guerrilla gardeners carry out their actions at night, in relative secrecy, to sow and tend a new vegetable patch or flower garden. Others work more openly, seeking to engage with members of the local community, as illustrated in the examples that follow. It has grown into a form of proactive activism or pro-activism.
Guerrilla gardening is happening all over the world. In Northern Utah, apple trees commonly grow along the banks of canals. Asparagus grows along the smaller ditch banks. Many of these plants were seeded 150 years ago by the workers who dug the canals, by burying their lunch apple core in the freshly dug soil, or by surreptitiously spreading seeds along a new ditchbank. Guerrilla gardening continues today as individuals secretly plant fruit trees, edible perennials, and flowers in parks, along bike trails, etc. Some guerrilla gardeners do so for the purpose of providing food. For example the Tacamiche banana plantation workers in Honduras illegally grew vegetables on the abandoned plantation land rather than leave with the plant's closure in 1995.
The term "guerrilla gardening" is applied by some quite loosely to describe different forms of radical gardening. This includes gardening as an entirely political gesture rather than one with genuine horticultural ambition such as the London May Day protest in 2000 when no long term garden was expected to take root. Guerrilla gardening has also been used by a number of writers to give a radical edge to their gardening books. One of these is a book titled "Guerrilla Gardening" was published in 1983 by John F. Adams aimed at encouraging amateur gardeners to grow heirloom varieties that are not the result of corporate hybridization. Another was a book by Barbara Pallenberg called "Guerrilla Gardening" which instructed how to make a garden on a small budget.
The term bewildering has been used as a synonym for guerrilla gardening by Australian gardener Bob Crombie.
A community grew up on the site called "Pure Genius!!" (named after the Guinness advertising slogan). They lived there for five and a half months before being evicted.
GuerrillaGardening.org was created in October 2004 by Richard Reynolds as a blog of his solo guerrilla gardening outside Perronet House, a neglected council block in London's Elephant and Castle district. At the time his motivations were simply those of a frustrated gardener looking to beautify the neighborhood, but his website attracted the interest of fellow guerrilla gardeners in London and beyond as well as the world's media. Richard's guerrilla gardening has now reached many pockets of south London and news of his activity has inspired people around the world to get involved. He also works alongside other 'troops', some local and some who travel to participate. He has also guerrilla gardened in Libya, Berlin and Montreal. Today GuerrillaGardening.org is still his blog but also includes tips, links and thriving Community boards where guerrilla gardeners from around the world are finding supportive locals. His book, "On Guerrilla Gardening, describes and discusses activity in 30 different countries, was published by Bloomsbury Publishing in the UK and USA in May 2008.
Early on Saturday, April 26, a team of volunteers installed forty-nine small birdhouses along the entire length of Hanover Avenue in The Fan District of Richmond, Virginia. They were built from untreated lumber and were specifically sized to provide a safe haven for some of Richmond’s local song birds including wrens, blue birds, and finches from the unwelcome non-native species such as the Starling and the European Barn Swallow.
The installation was inspired by a combination of several local developments.
Additionally, the Guerrilla Gardening movement has been catching on in Richmond, Virginia. In 2006, Style Weekly reported an act of Guerrilla Gardening in an alley off Hanover Avenue adjacent to the new birdhouses. Also, a group called Tricycle Gardens has begun the reclamation of blighted urban spaces in some of Richmond's poorest neighborhoods. Their efforts are bringing locally grown food and a better understanding of the interconnectedness humans have with nature to the city.
The volunteers who installed the birdhouses have asked members of the community to tend the houses in the fall once the breeding season is complete. The houses have been designed with a hinged right panel for easy cleaning.
A covert group in Los Angeles headed up by an agent know only as Mr. Stamen has a garden in Hollywood at Wilton and Sunset. The garden consists of many drought resistant plants and has been supported by community members. Photos of their garden are here http://www.laguerrillagardening.org
This group also has done some unique work with Manual Arts High School in South Central, Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Troop was invited to be a part of a special project hosted by UC Berkely teaching students about pollution and sustainable living. Members of the troop hosted a seed bomb workshop with the students and are working on building a garden close to school.