Life and Beauty

There’s a corner I drive by periodically that has a derelict gas station on it. The building has been vandalized, the concrete is all cracked and weedy. It is an eyesore. Al said, “That’s a nasty site.” I said, “That’s a piece of property I’d like to own.” I don’t know if it will become a commercially viable piece of land in the next twenty years. Eventually it will, but that’s a moot point; I don’ t have the money to buy it and improve it. 

The first thing I would do if I did own it, though, would be to raze the building and landscape the property while waiting for it to become commercially viable. 

Beautifying things and adding life is suddenly very appealing to me, and this morning, I learned about guerilla gardening.

Guerilla gardening is beautifying a piece of property without the owner’s permission. It is usually done anonymously, under cover of night, by a bunch of radical gardeners out to beautify the world. It encompasses everything from flinging a handful of flower seeds at an ugly vacant lot to burying a few bulbs along the freeway, to completely landscaping an eyesore.

The piece of property I have my eye on is way too much for me to handle, but a dozen workers could spiff it up in a weekend, starting with chopping down the blackberry brambles that are overtaking the building. That’s still too ambitious a project for me at the moment, but holy smoke, I could certainly do my share here and there around town.

It would be a naughty little pleasure, this secretely planting a border of flowers where only weeds currently grow. It wouldn’t take much; in fact I just bought several packs of expired seeds for $.25 each. I’m going to put them in the glove compartment of my car and wait for an opportune time and place.

Organizations of guerilla gardeners are springing up all over the place. The group in Tacoma, Washington is what came to my attention today.

Getting a group together like that sounds like a worthwhile endeavor to me, but whether a member of a group or flying solo, we can all find a few moments to add life and beauty.

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2 Comments

Filed under Beauty, Goodness, guerilla gardening, Truth

2 responses to “Life and Beauty

  1. Cap'n Crusty

    Oh, we’re going to have to disagree on this one, Liz. When I see an overgrown lot, particularly one with a crumbling ruin in its midst, I think of how the grasping hand of humanity has lost this time, and how Nature is reclaiming its own. Tattered and trashed it may look to some; to me, its a sign of hope.

    Just down the street from me there was an overgrown lot, complete with a moldering, blackberry-ridden house. For years I enjoyed walking by the place, thinking how peaceful it was, now that it was left to its own devices. Unfortunately, someone decided to capitalize on the housing boom by cutting back the “weeds”, refurbishing the house, and building a new one right next to it. Now it looks like any other place, with the older house having been occupied right away. But the new house has stood unbought and empty for months, and is even on its second realtor.

    I call that, poetic justice.

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