Sunflowers near a bus stop in Salvador, Brazil. (Credit: Joa Souza/Shutterstock) A nervous breakdown compelled Paul Dalton, a horticulturalist in Kilkenny, Ireland, to do something he hadn’t done before: Go about town, putting plants in the ground in places he wasn’t supposed to. He and the many others around the world who discreetly garden in places where they don’t have the legal rights to do so are guerrilla gardeners. “Guerrilla gardening allows creativity and expression,” Dalton writes via email, and has become a way to make friends. Like others who modify their community without permission — those who put benches on streets that lack them, for example, or put up informal signs warning others of a street safety hazard — guerrilla gardeners often have some kind of mission in mind. What they create can offer something that formal city planning protocols take much longer to do, says Monica Landgrave-Serrano, a city planner for Tucson. “These kinds of small scale, quick, low cost interventions can really get the ball going,” she says, even though there might be mixed perspectives on whether the project ought to get started. Itching for an Illegal Garden Landgrave-Serrano says there are often two motivators for […]

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