Photo by Chris Casella

The Anarchist Gardener

Guerrilla gardening tactics, although within the realm of not being crystal-clear legal, are a brilliant way to spread beauty and good cheer throughout this urban space we all share and call home. Urban gardening author Alex Mitchell says it great with the word, “rubanite”, which she defines as, “someone who has a passion for the countryside but no intention of leaving the city. A growing band of rubanites are getting in touch with the green side of the city.”

Seed bombs are a simple way to add expediential vibrancy and positivity. I live near an abandoned church and just blasted the hell out of the deserted lot and am giddily waiting to see what explodes from this neglected corner of Columbus after my seed bomb air raid.

Launch a seed bomb from your car window (with caution, duh!), from your bicycle, or on foot. It’s super easy and creates a beautiful reward for yourself and strangers. It’s best to lob your seed bombs in the warmer days so the seeds get plenty of rain and sun to germinate and grow. The clay hardens and helps protect the seeds from being washed away in heavy rains or eaten by any city critters, as well as maintains moisture to aid germination, while the soil will help aid in the seeds growth.

There are just a few things you need to create a seed bomb and about 20 minutes of time to make them. Tie them up in burlap or fabric scraps and keep them in your bag or car and hand them out to friends, strangers or leave one out for someone to bomb on their own. Guerrilla gardening with a seed bomb is great ammunition to help create vibrant floral beauty in parts of this amazing city that may look neglected, but surely aren’t forgotten.

What you’ll need:

• wildflower seeds (make sure whatever seeds you combine together can be sown at the same time)

• potting soil

• air-dry clay (found at any craft store)

• water

The only rule in all of this is to be sure that the mixture is: one part soil + one part seeds + three parts clay.

Combine the soil and seeds first, then add the clay. Add in a little bit of water to help soften up the clay and make the mixture more malleable – when ready for bomb-making, it should feel like the consistency of dough.  Roll the mixture into roughly ping-pong sized balls and let dry for a few days.   

Bombs away!  Enjoy the floral fruits of your guerilla gardening!