City bumpkin podcast 2 – Richard Reynolds

This is Richard Reynold’s original guerrilla garden.  It’s not actually his, it belongs to the tower block he lives in.  Richard cleared it of dead plants, litter and rubbish in 2004, replanted it, and has been looking after it ever since.

It is just 2×2 metres –  even smaller than the Penelope Bennett’s window-box allotment (the subject of the first BSGL podcast), yet for Richard it was the first step on a journey which would see him developing neglected land all over London, cultivating a forum for other guerrilla gardeners around the world, now several thousand strong, and being invited to create a garden for this year’s Hampton Court Flower Show.

I met up with Richard for a pot of tea in his flat above this little patch to find out more.  He started off by telling me how he became a guerrilla gardener.

Or click here to listen in a new window

Richard’s book, On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook For Gardening Without Boundaries is excellent – I highly recommend it if you would like to know more about the movement.

Richard’s website has a forum where guerrilla gardening events are plotted and co-ordinated.

And check out the blog of his Recycled Garden, built for the 2008 Hampton Court Flower Show.

The City Bumpkin podcast map!

Finally, there is an article I wrote about guerrilla gardening in issue 57 (current issue at time of writing) of Permaculture Magazine.

Author: Rachel Wheeley

Comedian, podcaster, based in London, UK

13 thoughts on “City bumpkin podcast 2 – Richard Reynolds”

  1. Thanks for another fascinating, and informative, entry which I enjoyed along with a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits.
    That’s another book for my list, and Richard’s website will be added to my Plot People list. xx

  2. Richard spoke about a couple of run ins with the police in the interview. Click here for a video from the Guardian online which shows that in some cases, the police are not so willing to just let the guerrilla gardeners get on with it.

  3. Excellent continued work Rach – spent a few mins killing time at work by browsing the antics of the guerilla gardeners.

    Have you been on any missions with them yet, I hope you will soon!!!

    I’ll be on the lookout for a campaign option around here! roundabouts etc!!!

  4. I concur with Emma, fabulous.

    I notice you are in Tooting. I used to live there (and love, and still love it). My band is named after an incident at Chicken Cottage on Tooting High Street, and I have several songs that are based on my time there.

    1. Hi Nathan,

      I need to know more about this incident at Chicken Cottage! What’s your band called?

  5. The band is called Car Wreck Chicken! Music from the Deep South (London).

    Actually, the truth is stranger than fiction – and one detail has been changed (for the purpose of art and rhyme), but the story has not.

    There was an awfully loud clinky, clunky, shower of broken glass and screaming metal that is part of the aural backdrop of living by that road.

    A cursory glance out of the window showed several cars were rather intimate and unrecognisable on the box junction. One of which was sticking its rear end out of a restaurant window. Thankfully the last diners were not sitting enjoying the view of the A23 and were further inside – and survived.

    The next morning, I went to my local cornershop for a pint of milk. It was just after 6am. The man was there with a neck brace on. I discovered that, after a long day (about 5.45am to midnight), he had got in his car and somehow accelerated from the side road, across the box junction and into the restaurant window. The box junction pile up had occurred right after.

    The cornershop man spent the night in A&E at St George’s of course and was back at work on time the next morning.

    Business as usual at car wreck chicken cottage as the line of the song goes.

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