There have been a few people who have commented on the name of my blog “This Garden is Illegal”. So I thought I would go into why I chose that name.
The short version: My garden really is illegal.
The long version: I live in suburbia and in suburbia, I am always amazed at how much effort a city council will take to stick their nose into other people’s business in the name of city/town’s best interest when in actuality the laws are either absurd or not effective. Worse yet, the only time these laws are enforced is when someone on city council or in the building department decides they have a vendetta against someone.
One particular ordinance in my city brings this to mind for me. The ordinance reads as follows:
All premises and exterior property, including tree lawns, shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of five inches. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grass, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs, provided, however, that this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens. No vegetable gardens shall extend beyond the front line of the house. (Ord. 6950-97)
Plant growth in excess of five inches… Thank god my local city council does not come around to measure the height of the wild onions and dandelions in my yard. I think they actually grow 5 inches a night. Certainly seems that way. I also want to point out that while the “cultivated” flowers and gardens are not included in the definition of weeds, they do not seem to be excluded from the definition of “plant growth”. So I am supposing that this means that any plant over five inches falls into this illegal category. I am defiantly in violation of the law.
All noxious weeds shall be prohibited… Hmm… I don’t know about you, but I have lots of noxious weeds in my yard like Queen Anne’s Lace, Canada Thistle and Cressleaf Groundsel as a start. I frequently tell them to leave, but they seem to like it here and no amount of weeding, Round-up or voodoo will lessen them. And I won’t resort to ChemLawn. And to tell the truth, I like Queen Anne’s Lace, so I never try too hard to evict it if it is not in the way. I am in violation of the law.
No vegetable gardens shall extend beyond the front line of the house… I am guilty of that too. I have no less than 12 potted fruits and veggies in my front yard. I even use kale and creeping thyme in the front yard landscape itself. I am such a rebel. I am in violation of the law.
Point is, it’s my yard and it bugs me when people try to make laws to tell me how I should keep it.
So you see, my garden really is illegal. Even if the law that makes it illegal is pretty stupid.