Gorilla Gardening with Antoinette

Last week I was sitting with my usual group of friends for Paint the Town Red over at the Pat Crowley House. It was like every other Sunday afternoon I'm with them. We paint, have a quick chat about the weather, then straight into the stories I've heard now approximately 30 times. Al talks about the 1945 World Series at Wrigley Field, what Lane Tech was like when it was an all boys school, and why he had to give up art school to work security for a bank (who's building was torn down for a McDonald's); Alex interrupts (he has to because Al is a chatter) to tell me how beautiful I am and how I'm his favorite, in his adorable version of English which is mostly Spanish; and Rosalie recaps all the phone calls she has made or received over the previous week.

Then there's Antoinette, she's the liveliest of the bunch and the one most likely to tell a story that has taken place in my lifetime. She wanted to know when the next Earth Day was going to be. I looked it up on my phone and told her it was April 22. She was upset, that was just too far away. I asked her why this was such upsetting news. That's when she told me about her "Gorilla Gardening". You can imagine why this would be a funny thing to hear from a 75 year old woman who more closely resembles a mouse than a gorilla. She told me that last year during the week of Earth day she went to a nearby school every day to make "seed bombs" at one of their many workshops and demonstrations on being green. She then carried these bombs with her on her afternoon walks to throw into empty lots, she hates those eyesores and wants to fill them with beautiful wild flowers. She says to me "I get scared sometimes because I don't want to get caught by a police man. I don't want them to think I'm a crazy old lady." I laughed and told her she shouldn't worry about it.

I've seen these seed bombs before and of course I think they are pretty neat. But hearing Antoinette tell me about them and imagining her lugging around dirt balls and throwing them all over the city makes them, and her, much cooler!

Here is a tutorial on instructables on how to make these seed bombs at home. If you're not the do-it-yourself type you can also buy them here or here.  I really want to make these with Antoinette when I go to see her next Sunday.  Even if they will most likely freeze before they ever get a chance to grow.  Who am I to deny her they enjoyment of throwing a few dirtballs?!


  1. My favorite Estate of Grace blog post ever! What an awesome story and so beautifully written! Can I came hang out with you and Antoinette?


  2. This would make a great movie. And I agree with Alex, you are beautiful and you are one of my favorites! Post photos of your friends at Pat Crowley House.
    Love, Aunt Deb