doodle by andre: reckless acts of horticulture

SO MUCH FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING garden-wise–you know, growing vegetables in the front yard (if that’s where the most sun is) or turning part of the lawn to a meadow to attract all those beneficial-insect types. Such wild behavior has its consequences, as we have heard repeatedly on the news in tales of code-violating horticultural adventures. Now you watch what you plan to plant out there in South Dakota, dear doodling Andre Jordan. We don’t want to hear that they toss you in the hoosegow.

  1. andre, andre… I always look forward to the cartoons… such reflections on life, with the best kind of comedy. Real observations. Keep them coming. I have just such a neighbor and they don’t always get kudos. Chuckling in Seattle.

  2. Abby says:

    HA! Last summer my neighbor told me (tongue in cheek, I hope!) that Neighborhood Code Enforcement had been by to cite my weedy lawn by posting a sign on it, but could not drive a stake into the hardpan clay, so gave up and left. He should see the *backyard*! Half weed patch, half mint farm.

  3. Carol says:

    I turned our small front yard into a garden, with a tree, shrubs, perennials and bulbs and enclosed it with a low stone wall. A neighbor actually stopped to tell me that I ruined the look of the street. He could no longer look down the whole street and see grass straight down the way. The irony is that he is the gardener at a local church. Some people just hate change and can not appreciate different.

  4. gretchen says:

    this would be funny if it weren’t so sadly true. two of my neighbours who went ‘au natural’ in their front yards were reported to the city. neither was found to have a violation but obviously there are people out there who don’t like the look of anything that isn’t perfectly pristine. let’s hear it for wild gardeners!

  5. Deborah says:

    Thank goodness we live in the country, where apparently there is no code in our township and anything goes. This brings the freedom to do whatever we like in our yard, but it also means all the neighbors can do the same, like leaving old trailers to rot into the hillside or park 30 pieces of large farm equipment, old appliances and tractor tires in the front yard.

  6. Joanna says:

    Oh this made me laugh. I only spent two years in the US and that was in a suburb, where I discovered certain aspects of American gardening. The first thing I found out was it is not acceptable to have long grass. In my naivety I thought that cutting grass with a strong hot wind would kill it, how was I to know that the grass was different to the more tender English stuff. Next year I had been hand pulling weeds out of my patch of grass at the front as the seeds were blowing down the street from an empty lot at the top. My husband’s father died and we had to take a trip to the UK, but when we got back I found I had fallen foul of the local homeowner’s association codes yet again as those weeds had grown too obvious in the week we were away. We rented the house and so the rental company insisted that I send for a gardener who would kindly pour poison onto my errant weeds.

    I now live in Latvia and the grassland out of the back of our apartment building is a wonderful array of different grasses and flowers which is only cut back every now and again. Beautiful!

  7. Kathryn says:

    Over 20 years ago I was responsible for ordinance violation prosecution for a city in central Illinois. The code superintendent took me to look at 2 yards that neighbors had complained about for “weeds.” Looking at the yards I thought that what others thought looked like weeds looked like ornamentals. I asked the code superintendent knew what the “offending” plants were. He said no. I suggested that he go to the horticulture department at the local university and find out as I wasn’t going to prosecute people for the plants when I had no idea what they were. I never heard anything more about those yards.

  8. Nora Sirbaugh says:

    I had to laugh when I read Andre (but I always do!)….it happened to Cole Burrell when he lived in Minneapolis. He tells a great story about it, because he had recently won an award for “beautifying” the neighborhood! My husband has observed less and less lawn to mow–and this summer I did a “hedge row” of raspberries. Chipping away at our suburban lawn. Because putting in “hard scape” requires permits and permission from the Thought Police (aka association), our “lawn” is really just paths around various beds.
    I loved reading everyone’s declaration of independence from lawns.

  9. Deirdre says:

    At least he wasn’t arrested for peeing on his compost heap as some have suggested we do. That would be considered indecent exposure by non gardeners.

  10. Lee says:

    What a classic. If you turn this into a magnet or a bumper sticker, I’d definitely buy it! My brother just told me to stay away from my mother’s future home, since I apparently offended the neighbors in her present home by actually planting things in an effort to exchange useless and costly lawn for perennial native beds.

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