Resistance is fertile

GardeningI first came across the phrase “guerrilla gardening” while trawling through the thousands of gardening-related websites available to be Googled. Now Richard Reynolds, initiator of has written a book On guerrilla gardening: a handbook for gardening without boundaries.

Reynolds defines guerrilla gardening as “the illicit cultivation of someone else’s land”. Guerrilla gardeners see a waste patch of ground – an empty building site, for example – and plant it with flowers or crops. Often this activity is undertaken in the dead of night, on “raids”, so as to evade the eyes of authority or the legal owners of the land.

This is not mere anarchy, however. As Renolds explains in his book, illicit gardening has a history and a philiosophy, and uses the tactics of guerrilla warfare to make our built environments more beautiful and useful spaces.

If Johnny Appleseed was one of your childhood heroes, this book will strike a chord. Visit the website too – it’s full of photos of people doing naughty things with plants on traffic islands.

See our gardening pages for more information.

Embrace the age of the cupcake

The Crabtree Bakery cupcake cookbook
The Crabtree Bakery cupcake cookbook

You’re not imagining it. Cupcakes ARE the treat du jour. Ever since Carrie and the gals munched on beautifully iced drops of spongey goodness in Sex and the city, the rise of the cupcake as a teatime supremo has been set in frosting.

The cupcake phenom started in New York, and it’s slowly made its way around the world, advancing like a mini-cake “icing age” and spawning many a brightly coloured, gorgeous illustrated cookbook. Look, you know that something’s a fully fledged craze when things start “specialising”. With titles like Vegan cupcakes take over the world : 75 dairy-free recipes for cupcakes that rule hitting the shelves it’s pretty safe to say that the reign of the cupcake is far from over. They’re just so darn pretty!

Other pastel coloured homages to the art of the cupcake that you might also find enticing are –

Bake me Im yours
Bake me I'm yours

But don’t worry, if the idea of donning a pinny and getting all fiddly with paper cups and icing seems like too much hard work, you’ll find that Christchurch is now home to not one, but two specialty purveyors of cupcakes, in the form of The Cupcake Parlour, and The Cupcake Collection so there really is no need to get to get your hands dirty, or sticky for that matter…