I love to garden, but I rent my home, so my grand ideas are limited by my landlord’s wishes, my unwillingness to invest in someone else’s property, and my propensity for abandoning overly ambitious projects.
Our house has a fair sized lawn in front, but because we live in Southern California, it’s green of its own accord for just a few months a year. Last year we were under water restrictions that limited the watering of lawns, and regardless, I have a hard time justifying pumping gallons of water onto something that isn’t supposed to be there in the first place. We live in a desert for Pete’s sake.
I’ve long harbored dreams of ripping out the lawn, terracing the slope, and planting a verdant vegetable garden. Yes, that will take water, too, but it will be a lot more productive and environmentally savvy than grass.
So, I was stunned (but not ultimately surprised) when I saw in the news this week that a woman in Michigan could face jail time for planting a vegetable garden in front of her house.
Apparently a neighbor complained that the woman’s new landscaping “disrupted the look of the neighborhood” and the city has taken it all the way to the courts.
Contrast this with the many cities, such as Long Beach, CA, offering their citizens financial incentives to convert their water-guzzling lawns, and Sonoma County’s iGrow program that encourages everyone to grow their own food.
Of course, this story make me want to go out and start digging my lawn up immediately, but knowing myself as I do (see last week’s Craft Nerd post) I know I’d get complaints, and well-deserved, about my half-finished project.