Shut Up and Dig

Gardening as a socially subversive phenomenon

This nice piece in the New York Times Magazine describes guerrilla gardening in terms that take me back to the glory days of the late ’60s.  We learn that London’s famous guerrilla gardener Richard Reynolds sees plants as a solution to society’s problems, and who among us would argue with that?

There’s lots more at

The same issue – all about architecture – includes a rousing defense of sidewalks in which a former mayor says they’re essential for democracy and that their absence shows a "lack of respect for human dignity".  Wow.

Posted by on June 9, 2008 at 4:49 am, in the category Shut Up and Dig.
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5 responses to “Gardening as a socially subversive phenomenon”

  1. Nancy says:

    ITA with that mayor about the sidewalks – three years ago we somewhat blindly moved into a neighborhood without them, and it’s definitely deadly for community spirit. Instead, there’s an informal network of lawns with paths through them (ours included), but that seems to be the only plus side.

  2. Re: Defense of sidewalks , –
    Landscape architecture, Urban Planning and Development.. who would of thunk these to be such politically charged and socially important professions ?
    No wonder it takes 5 years to complete your undergraduate education in these professions.

  3. Ron Sullivan says:

    Wheelchair riders, IME, tend to be partisans of decent sidewalks. Makes sense to me.

  4. Sidewalks civilize neighborhoods and the builder-cheap-out lack of them is a pet peeve of mine.

    New developments are built without any plan for sidewalks and I assume it is to reduce costs. It’s too bad city planners do not require them.

    We live in an older neighborhood sans sidewalks and everyone walks on the street. Fortunately, it is not dangerous to do so, but I still wish we had them.

  5. david strouse says:


    i liked the post about the sidewalks. my father-in-law always refused to live in a home that did not have sidewalks. i agree that it is very important to establish a sense of community.