I know yesterday was May Day, but that really means nothing to me. I saw lots of bloggers doing really cool May Day craft projects with their kids, some of which we will definitely try here, but I just couldn't drum up excitement for the holiday when I had to read the Wikipedia article just to get the most basic sense of what it is.
On the other hand, I was very excited that yesterday was also International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day. Guerrilla gardening, for the uninitiated, is essentially a practice in which you covertly plant flowers in ugly, untended-to urban spots that need beautification, usually in your own neighborhood. I first learned of it last year and was immediately smitten with the idea.
The chicks and I set off on Saturday morning for our project with all of the following:
**A package of sunflower seeds
**A very sharp trowel capable of digging into tough, well-packed-down soil
**A plastic bag full of compost from the backyard composter
**A couple of bottles of water
**The chicks' child-sized watering cans
We left and walked down the main street that intersects with our side street. This particular street is in need of some serious beautification, so we found several appropriate squares of dirt next to the sidewalk, all right around the corner from our home, and all within two blocks of each other. Ninna helped me scope out a patch of soil, and then we quickly got to work. The soil, having been unworked for ages, was tough. I dug and "tilled" a spot the best I could. Ninna then took handfuls of compost and threw them on, and we mixed it up a little. After she planted the seeds, I poured water into her watering can from the water bottle, and she got to work. We planted a total of three patches, and we evenly split the 25 seeds (well, almost evenly...) among them. We could have spread them out among more patches, but my thinking was that the chances of any of them growing aren't all that high, and we should increase that by planting more seeds per area.
In order to further increase their chances of survival, the chicks and I will return every other day or so for the next several weeks to water them, thin them if they do actually sprout, and take care of them until they're strong enough to survive on their own. If we have another frost, they're doomed, but I'm going to just hope that we don't.
Given that this was the first time I'd ever actually done guerrilla gardening, I was a little unsure of how it was going to play out. Honestly, I don't think a single person even batted an eye. I had envisioned strangers coming up and asking us what we were doing or why we were on the sidewalk digging, but no one said a word. The only person who even glanced at us was a crabby woman who glared at the chicks before we even started gardening. Perhaps the sunflowers will lift her spirits one day.
If you're interested in guerrilla gardening, head on over to this website. There's another campaign they're promoting right now called "pimp your pavement," which might be one of the cutest things I've ever heard.