Montreal man turns to 'guerilla gardening' to beautify neighbourhood

Sebastien Caron is asking people to adopt and care for sunflowers he's planted in the Gay Village.

Sebastien Caron is asking people to adopt and care for sunflowers in the Gay Village

Last week, Sébastien Caron and a group of friends took to the streets to plant more than 100 sunflowers. (Submitted by Sebastien Caron)

In an act of what he calls "guerilla gardening," hobby gardener Sébastien Caron took to the streets with a group of friends and planted more than 100 sunflowers around his neighbourhood.

Dubbed the Sunflower Mascarade, the group set out to make the Gay Village that much greener.

"I thought they could almost replace a tree," he told CBC Montreal's Daybreak. "My boyfriend and I got on a Bixi one day and cycled around and mapped all the tree spots that had a tree missing."

The sunflowers, planted in empty tree spots, can grow up to 7 feet tall. (Submitted by Sebastien Caron)

He started small last year by planting 15 sunflowers, about half of which made it to the end of the summer. 

"The others were stolen or trampled," he explained. "The ones that did survive became quite the sensation around our house. They were at least seven feet tall."

Now he's thinking bigger, with 107 plants in the ground and a campaign going around on social media to encourage other residents to adopt and care for the flowers.
Each sunflower they planted has a number attached and anyone can adopt one by registering on the Facebook page. (Submitted by Sebastien Caron)

"Around every plant we put a little fence," said Caron. "They don't require that much care."

Each plant has a number attached to it and anyone can adopt a sunflower by registering on the Facebook page.

So far, says Caron, 68 flowers have been adopted. 

"It becomes your sunflower baby," he said.

Caron and his partner mapped out the locations of all the empty tree slots where they could plant sunflowers in the Gay Village. (Submitted by Sebastien Caron)

With files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak