Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Help thirsty plants!

Is your New Year's Resolution to help out the Garden Posse, or commit random acts of kindness and generosity? If so, get an early start on 2009 by a couple of hours! Our 5 gallon watering jug at the 34th street garden (across from Salvation Pizza) was stolen during the past week. As a result, the plants are looking very thirsty. The garden would much appreciate a new watering jug!

Empty 5 gallon jugs sell for $14 at Wheatsville, and although we got some for $6 at HEB, I have checked with the HEBs on 41st and Burnet and they only sell full jugs. (The one on South Congress might still sell them - that's where the stolen jug came from.)

Or, it would be awesome if you had one or more extra jugs around that you wanted to donate. We will certainly need them as we create more gardens. Just drop them off at the garden, or to be safe, behind Salvation Pizza. We have permission to stash a jug there.

Email if you can help today (12/31), or would like to make future contributions of gardening goods.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Twenty Seven--Whoa!

Hello, Posse! I know everyone has missed me terribly these last few weeks that I've been so conspicuously absent. Don't blame yourselves, posse. Blame the allure of Minnesota in winter and then blame the cold I picked up there. At any rate, I am having a birthday party this coming Monday and would love to see your bright faces there. I will be making a borscht, which is much like a vegetable garden in soup form. Party starts at 7! Email for directions!

Friday, December 19, 2008

So much news: Garden Posse 2009!

The holidays are nearly upon us. The Posse will be taking a two week break. But we have so much news to share with you now. Consider it something low-fat to chew on over the holidays.

The next meeting of the Garden Posse will be a potluck at Greg & Carly's house, at 7:30 pm, on January 6. If you have been considering getting involved with the Garden Posse, or you have been involved in the past and would like to be back in the thick of things, come to this event! Reasons why:
  • Delicious food + nice people = good times
  • We'll be formulating our vision for 2009 & beyond.
In other words, we'll be getting introspective about who we are as a group, and what we want to accomplish. We've had discussions about why we guerrilla garden: ideas of land use, local food systems, permaculture, and community-building have come up. Our goal is direct our energy into projects that will help the Posse further the ideals important to us, and to be useful to our community.

So look inside your heart (for real) and ask yourself: What does guerrilla gardening mean to me? Then come with a dish and your ideas to the potluck.


A few members of the Garden Posse presented a plaque to Shoal Creek Nursery on Thursday, thanking them for being amazing to us. (They really, really are.) I didn't bring my camera, but the presentation looked kind of like this:


The Garden Posse now has a Facebook group! Heck, it's almost 2009, we figured it was time to get fully integrated with the social networking. JOIN US! You don't have to be an active member of the Posse to be in the group. We would really love to see everyone who is interested in our efforts. We'll also be using it to send out event invitations, etc.


Events like the screening of the Garden Posse documentary in January! Katy is finishing up "the director's cut." We'll be having a screening and a party. Details are still in the works. But there is going to be film, music, fun, and beer involved; that much is certain.


Hey, do you feel like building a website for the Garden Posse? Email


Happy holidays and see you next year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Photos galore:

More pictures straight from the Chestnut Garden... now with 100% more additional daylight!

Thanks for all that helped out. This garden has lots of room to grow, so look for more pictures from it in the future.


Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

The Chestnut Garden is the coldest garden. Interrupted last week by snow (!), Tuesday's mission was a chilly 35 degrees. The Posse showed up to the site bundled thickly in coats, hats, mittens, and wool socks. The cold would have scared off lesser Texans. But the Garden Posse is nothing if not totally hardcore.

Last week, our group had spaced out the dimensions of the garden before it started to snow (!). On the weekend, Greg and his neighborhood friends prepared the bed. So all we had to do was put the plants in the ground. We had a mix of vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli, and cabbage), and pansies. A million continuing thanks to Shoal Creek Nursery!

We also planted a vine that will crawl up the very large, cool, and dead tree, which you can see behind McAllen here.

We were joined by Jessica, one of those extremely nice people who knows everything about all the free stuff that the city has to offer (glass mulch! random dumps of wood mulch!).

Here Carly demonstrates the use of our new Cobrahead ("The Best Tool on Earth!"). It looks a bit like a pirate hook, and is scarily effective at pulling up grass, weeds, dirt, and what have you. It was donated to us by Geoff Valdes.

I'm not skilled at taking photos at night, but you get the gist of our wide spread of veggies and pansies. (Greg said he will eventually post better pictures with daylight.) We're getting the water from a neighbor across the street, and more neighbors have offered to be caretakers for the garden. There is a lot more space in the field beyond the garden and bus stop - hopefully, it will continue to grow.

After the successful planting, and sufficient freezing of extremities, the Posse retreated to Clementine's for warm drinks and music.

So that's it for guerrilla gardening in 2008. Hurrah for a successful year for the Garden Posse! Having begun our mission only four months ago, I'm amazed at the work we've done and the energy we've amassed. The Garden Posse will be even stronger and more exciting in 2009 - stay tuned! I'll be posting an update on beginning of the year plans soon.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chestnut Garden... Redux!

Tomorrow we will be going back to the Chestnut Garden to finish planting it. On last Saturday, a couple of us stopped by to pull up the rest of the grass and put down some potting soil, so our little plot is all ready to go... just need to add the green plants.

Tomorrow night is supposed to be pretty cold, so make sure to bundle up before coming out to help plant. We are meeting tomorrow, December 16th at 7:30pm at the corner of 16th and Chestnut, in East Austin. Bring gloves and trowels, as well as lots of plants.

The planting shouldn't take all that long, so afterwards we could hop off to get some hot chocolate or other warm beverages. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snowed out?!

Well, we were all ready to do some digging... tools, soil, plants, and hands on deck... but it seemed that Mother Nature had other ideas about us starting the Chestnut Garden last night. Although we were able to lay out the boundaries for the garden and start pulling up some grass, a cold front came roaring through and we had to postpone our work to another night. Not just any ole cold front mind you, but one that brought snow to Central Texas. It must surely be the holiday season now.

So since the Holiday Season is quite busy for a lot of people, we are going to try again and finish the Chestnut Garden next Tuesday. That way, the week of Christmas can be a light week (potluck and sign painting anyone?) and everyone can rest and relax. To help speed along the process of getting the garden prepared, I'm going to work on it this coming Saturday morning. I'm thinking that if we can remove the rest of the grass and turn in some potting soil, all that will remain to be done next Tuesday is the fun part, putting in the plants. If anyone can help out on Saturday morning, we'd appreciate it and I'm sure things will move a lot quicker. And by morning, I mean around 10:30.

Also, I know that the Chestnut Neighborhood Association is having a tree planting event of their own on Saturday morning. They are going to be planting trees in their park, which is conveniently located just across the street from our garden. I'm going to see if any of them would like to help us out as well, since this Chestnut Garden is really going in for them.

Now if only we had some winter gear from Colombia of our own, since it's been snowing and all...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tonights Garden

Hey all,

I am not going to attend tonight's dig. My father will be in town for the night so I am going to grab some drinks with him and discuss Christmas presents for the fam.

I do have some broccoli and cabbage plants for the garden tonight. I salvaged them when I was thinning my own garden, and have been growing them in 4-inchers to one day put in one of our gardens. I think they are ready. Can someone get them from my house or meet me somewhere? It is 4 cabbages and 2 broccolis, and I CAN NOT say they are spectacular specimens.

My phone is dead, so email me at and we can arrange something.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Updates: Quilombo potluck, GP media, donations!

  • The Quilombo potluck will be held at 1:30 pm Saturday, at the garden. Come, and bring some food with you! It would be wonderful to see some Garden Posse faces there, and anyone else who wants to hang out. Here are basic directions:
If you are coming from downtown or by bike: Go East on 12th street until it dead ends at Webberville. Go
Left on Webberville. Take a Right on Fort Branch. You'll come to a "Y". At this point go Left/straight onto Delano. Go through the stop sign at Delano and Hudson and down the hill. At the next stop sign make a Left on Harold Court and we are at the end.
  • The article about the Garden Posse is in the Daily Texan today! You can read it here, online. Thanks to Amira for taking an interest in our group.
  • Geoff Valdes of CobraHead has offered to donate few of his tools to us! The CobraHead "weeds, cultivates, scalps, edges, digs, furrows, plants, transplants, de-thatches, and harvests with ease." Yeah, we could use that. Hooray for kindness and generosity!
Hope to see you this weekend,

Guerrilla gardening goes commercial

This past Tuesday, before we started making signs, Travis was surprised to see guerrilla gardening featured between segments of the Colbert Report. Courtesy of Columbia Outerwear:

This guerrilla gardening ad is part of Columbia's "Pioneers" ad campaign. Apparently, guerrilla gardeners wear Columbia's "Chill Dude TM" shirt, Pagora sneakers, and Omni-Dry Silver RidgeTM cargo shorts. True, that is the Posse's standard uniform.

At first, I thought that Columbia had cast a bunch of commercial actors to pretend to be guerrilla gardeners. But the people in the ad are actual, real, live guerrilla gardeners, in Los Angeles. (Living in LA, they might be commercial actors as well.) Check out the long version:

Columbia is not exactly being original. Adidas did a guerrilla gardening campaign, for their Grun shoes, which supposedly use fewer resources. Here's the ad:

Richard Reynolds, founder of, had been approached by Adidas to help them with the short film. He commented on a blog, "It was a load of glossy fakery and I said “NO WAY”. He went on,

Look closely though, not only are they all wearing Adidas, but they’ve magically planted full grown sunflowers and fruiting trees and stuffed everything together as if it was a flower arrangement in a Hello home. This is horticultural nonsense, it’s guerrilla gardening as a makeover TV show … and it’s quite likely the plants are plastic.
So has guerrilla gardening gone "mainstream" yet? Or do you think that these guerrilla gardeners featured in the ad have sold out? And is that a bad thing? Why do you think these brands want to associate themselves with guerrilla gardening?

I'd love to hear what you think in the comments.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just to make sure...

I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't any possible confusion: I've already scouted out a place for the new garden and already posted the info about it. I snuck my entry in sooner than expected and I don't want anyone to miss the information about where the next garden will be.

For the information about our next garden spot on Tuesday, make sure to read the blog entry posted before the entry about the signs we painted.



PS... and of course do read the entry about the signs too... I hear there is a mighty fine looking piece of first-place-winning, garden art somewhere in the story...

Signage and more!

Sign mission accomplished!

Pictured are two out of three signs created last night on the floor of Travis' house. Greg, the artist behind the bottom sign, won the contest for prettiest sign. True, sign-making wasn't a competition, but it became one when someone raises the artistic bar like that.

These signs, and the Travis/McAllen collaboration on the Raywood Street sign, will be placed at their respective locations.

Next week we'll be back to digging!! Greg is, perhaps at this very moment, scouting a new site at a park near his home on East MLK. More details as they emerge.

But don't wait until Tuesday to get into gardening! There's lots of stuff going on this weekend. Saturday kicks off "Eat Local" week with the first-ever Austin Urban Farm Bike Tour. Although Megan's wonderful East Side garden, Quilombo, is not an official stop, it is included. She'll be organizing a potluck for the early afternoon. Come join us!

Greg is doing a tree-planting thing at the park near his house, and he'd earlier put out a call for volunteers. There may be free coffee involved? Contact Greg for details.

Plus, it is pretty much time to buy your holiday gifts. Stop procrastinating! I know you're doing it. Buying local is like eating local: It's good for you, trust us. The Blue Genie Art Bazaar opens this weekend, and Wheatsville Co-op's art fair is this weekend in Adams Park. Whoa! Buy local where you eat local! It's almost too much.

One more thing: On Friday, pick up a copy of the Daily Texan and turn to DT Weekend. There will be an article about us! Yay, Garden Posse.

New garden site: Chestnut Garden

Hi Y'all,

So it's time to break ground on a new garden and at last Tuesday's sign making, we decided to do a garden in the Chestnut Neighborhood, out in East Austin. I've scouted around and I found a great little location by Chestnut's neighborhood park. It's a vacant corner lot which happens to have a bus stop on it as well.

And right across the street is the park!

So the plan is to meet at 7:30pm next Tuesday, December 9th at the garden site, which is on the corner of E 16th St and Chestnut.

View Larger Map

As usual, bring shovels, gloves, and other gardening tools, as well as head-lamps or flashlights. For plants... everything you've got, although do keep in mind that cold weather is setting in and we want our plants to make it through the winter. Also, the site has a large dead tree on it that would be perfect for climbers, so bring climbing plants if you have any.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, I know I sure did. Since it's that time of year again, we want to send out our thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Garden Posse. A shout-out to all that have donated their plants, time, and effort.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next Tuesday. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Making signs tonight!

Our update for tonight is coming a bit later than usual. The reason is, four day weekends tend to set you back... into a realm where all you want to do is nap and eat, not necessarily in that order.

But anyhow. Ahem. Last week at our delicious potluck (thanks, Travis) we decided that we would spend this week making signs for our gardens. I believe we've mentioned the usefulness of explanatory signs previously in this blog. But an example:

The other day I was watering the garden on 34th & Guadelupe, and a young woman was walking on the path through it. She stopped and told me she liked the garden, and because she walked that way to work, she always watched its development and wondered what was going to happen next. I told her she was free to take any of the goods from the garden (a few more tomatoes are red now), if she took a moment to weed or water.

Just think: A sign could have provided the woman all that information before she happened to run in to me watering. This is what written language is for.

Sign making is tonight, 7:30 pm, again at Travis' house at 800 Post Oak Rd, where he will provide you with a handwritten voucher so your car doesn't get a ticket on his heavily policed road.

Please bring these materials if you have them:

Wood boards
Saw, nails
Paint & paintbrushes
Other decorative touches

Also, let's plan to get back to gardening next week. Please come with ideas for new sites!