[Concerning the story about the Florida city forcing the couple to remove their front-yard garden,] I believe municipalities have a responsibility to consider such decisions in light of the well-being of all its residents, whether in a neighborhood or community-wide sense. Ricketts and Carroll certainly do have an immaculate garden – one that most anyone would be proud to have on their property. However, how many people do you (we) know who start a garden, small or large, with the grandest of intentions, only to have it fall into a state of . . . “oh no, what am I going to do with all this mess . . . uh, anyone got a match?” Now, think about the possibility of only half the number of well-intentioned novice gardeners attempting such a project in their front yards in your own neighborhood. Even one small-scale unkept garden can become not only an eyesore, but will invariably become home to pests and rodents. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to create a personal ecosystem for pests and rodents in your back yard, it should still be your right – unless the critters in said space begin invading your neighbor’s yards and/or households. Knock yourself out. The point is, my neighbors and I should not have to watch our property values plummet as someone with (even the best of) intentions allows part or all of their front yard to fall into decay. As one commented earlier, fruit trees in front, vegetable gardens in back is almost always the better option.
Sometimes the backyard is not the best option. Most people I know who have front yard gardens, including myself, it is because that is where the “sun” is, in their yard. There are plenty of “unkempt” yards that are grass lawns. So, if the issue is being “unkempt”, then make that the resolution – that gardens should be well kept. We don’t ban grass lawns because some people let their lawns succumb to weeds, etc. Along the same lines, you don’t ban front yard vegetable gardens. An organic garden reduces the use of pesticides and chemicals which is better for the neighborhood and city water system. We need more of them. Property values surrounding my house have been going “up and up” since my garden was planted.
Thanks for speaking up on such a significant issue! You each made valid points.