woman hat spying grass
ShutterstockDorky hat not included.

Tip: When attempting any technically not-legal tactical endeavors, it helps to start with a checklist. For some rebels, I imagine this list would include items like spray-paint and rotten eggs, maybe an iPod stocked with mood music by the Sex Pistols. Me, I’m taking a greener approach with my list: potting soil, water bottle, trash bags, low-maintenance plants, and one classic terra-cotta planter.

I assembled these items one recent evening in preparation for my first attempt at serious guerrilla gardening (that’s reclaiming a piece of underused public land by planting it, to you). I’d dropped a few wildflower seed balls around the city, sure, but those little bombs are a bit of a crapshoot. This would be the first time I’d leave anything undoubtedly living and green in my wake. And besides, seed bombs are easy to fling unnoticed; an entire pot brimming with succulents is a bit trickier to assemble in secrecy. Better add “nerves of steel” to that checklist.