guerilla gardening

Shasta Daisy (Chrysanthemum maximum) and Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta):

Lindy sat on her rusty garden swing and contemplated how even on the hottest of these summer nights, her bed felt so cold and empty. She missed the warmth of another body, the soft sleep-breathing, the ripple as they rolled over. More than the love-making, it was the comfort. The closeness.

Sighing, she scuffed her shoe in a swirl of dirt, and the swing squeeched and lurched forward again. She’d inherited the house after caring for her grandmother. Sanctuary. Now convent.

“I’ve got some WD40, I’ll be right back,” a disembodied male voice from the abandoned yard next door startled her. “Hearing voices, great” she thought, the crazy woman with the empty bed.

“Got it! Now . . . “

She’d play along with her imaginary friend, “You’ll need it to get the gate between the properties to open.” After a few handyman noises, the gate jerked open, and he stepped through the thick, tall hedge dividing the properties. He was ordinary looking, except for his deeply weathered face and what Lindy called flint-spark eyes.

He looked at her yard with approval. No lawn or manicured flower beds, or exotic vegetable plantings. Wild flowers over ran all except for a small water garden, several bird baths, and a stone pathway.

“My grandmother would be mortified, of course,” Lindy said. The neighbourhood of small houses with long narrow backyards once ripe with tomatoes, eggplant, grape and bean vines. Gentrification was hit and miss. Next door had been empty for at least 6 years; subprime and all that.

“May I,” he said gesturing to the swing. More handyman sounds, then – the swing was sounding and acting at least 10 years younger.

“Thanks. I’m Lindy,” she said holding out her hand. “Rafe,” he said with a strong clasp after wiping his hands on jeans as weathered as his face.

“Moving in?,” Lindy asked tentatively. She really didn’t want a neighbour family. Not right now.

Rafe hesitated, but then someone with a wildflower meadow for a backyard would understand. “No, some guerrilla gardening* – milkweed for the monarchs – see you’ve got some, for the pollinators, nasturtium, butterfly weed and, of course, black magic woman.”

“Black magic woman?” Lindy asked.

“What I call black-eye-Susans,” Rafe explained, a faint blush beneath the tan. “They can grow like magic, and I have fond memories of the Peter Green and early Fleetwood Mac.”

Lindy flashed one of her rare smiles, “For me, it’s Carlos Santana.” For an awkward moment or two they stood, Lindy hands behind back, knuckles white. And Rafe, hands shoved in his pockets, and rocking on the balls of his feet.

“I I won’t don’t want let you thanks for back to need any water maybe a I have a bucket later.” They both spoke a layered conversation.

Knuckles even whiter, stigmata in her palms from her fingernails, Lindy tumbled, “If you get thirsty, I have some hard cider.  If you drink, I mean hard stuff, I mean. . . It’s pure pear.”

Rafe stopped his perpetual motion. “Pear is the best,” he smiled, those flint-spark eyes snapping. Lindy had a feeling that some night soon her bed wouldn’t be so lonely. Both were humming “Black Magic Woman” the rest of the afternoon.

Thanks, Pat, for your incredible run as co-host. For absolutely mind-boggling and stretching prompts, detailed and amazing comments, and for giving me a break I really needed, so I didn’t get completely broken.

So, for Pat (& Michael, of course) here is my word association for Black Magic Woman, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Tale Weaver #74

*”Guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to utilize, such as an abandoned site, an area that is not being cared for, or private property.” Wikipedia. Image: HGTV on Pinterest.

Peter Green & Fleetwood Mac Black Magic Woman 1968

Carlos Santana, Peter Green, Black Magic Woman 1998 live (originally recorded song in 1970)

Mick Fleetwood Blues Band Live Black Magic


14 thoughts on “guerilla gardening

  1. imagineambition June 30, 2016 / 11:29 pm

    I’ve never heard of guerilla gardening… But I like the idea.


    • taleweavering June 30, 2016 / 11:49 pm

      I learned about it awhile ago. Must have seen, heard or read about it.
      I’d like to do some around where I live! :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shadeau June 30, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    Interesting to learn something today–guerilla gardening!


    • taleweavering June 30, 2016 / 9:49 pm

      I love the idea of it. Found some wonderful pictures of guerilla gardens — in wrecked cars, vacant lots, fences. I want to do some guerilla gardening and I know exactly where I’d go. I missed going this spring.


  3. wildchild47 June 30, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    Wow! Thanks so much for playing along with the prompt(s) Phylor :D

    I love the story! You’ve written it so well – I can sense the tension, the nervousness, the awkwardness between the two – as well as the connection – and it holds such delicious promise! And wow – what a great interpretation of the word combo – I LOVE the idea of calling Black-eyed Susans or the humble Rudbeckia by this new name! So creative my friend!

    I’m glad that you could catch a break – and of course, I hope you continue to find some solid footing and feel better. And I look forward to seeing you around MLMM and generally :)

    Be well and I hope you have a wonderful weekend my friend :)


    • taleweavering June 30, 2016 / 5:47 pm

      I wrote several versions without much success — then rather than Lindy using black magic, I wondered about using the flower as the bridge.
      I really enjoyed your prompts. I have some semi-finished from your time. Wishing you all the best.

      Liked by 1 person

      • wildchild47 June 30, 2016 / 6:23 pm

        Well, you know, I’m still around – so you can always post and link to the prompts and I’ll show up and read – it’ll be my pleasure :)


        • taleweavering June 30, 2016 / 6:33 pm

          Then I shall get back to them. I do have one I’d been writing in my head that so fit one of your prompts. Tackle that one first.

          Liked by 1 person

            • taleweavering June 30, 2016 / 9:47 pm

              I’d like to. As I said, a head story banged into one of your prompts, so incentive to start writing it down. Now will it sound silly outside of my head?
              I know I pronounce words correctly in my head that come out all garbled. Why I never taught ESL because I would butcher my students names.

              Liked by 1 person

              • wildchild47 July 1, 2016 / 10:51 am

                Well let the words flow, as they wish – otherwise you won’t know how they will sound or be. As for sounding silly? Don’t worry about it. Sometimes it’s just ourselves tripping ourselves out that makes it seem “silly” or weird or whatever. So take a chance ;)


  4. Sheri June 30, 2016 / 12:54 pm

    I love the idea of guerilla gardening. My husband doesn’t mow most of our land, just lets the wildflowers and grasses grow for the benefit of the wildlife. We had one neighbor (actually she wasn’t very close, down the street) say it was an eyesore every time she drove by. “Find another route.” :D


    • taleweavering June 30, 2016 / 5:42 pm

      Yep — I was all set to do some this spring, and I didn’t get there early enough. Love that Greg doesn’t mow most of the land.
      Eyesore — bet her car and house were more of an eye sore than your place.

      Liked by 1 person

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