Monday, July 23, 2012

Quebec Town Hates Front Yard Garden. Why?

A couple in Drummondville, Quebec, well northeast of Montreal, are having quite a war with their town because they are growing vegetables in their front yard.
Criminal activity: A Quebec couple seen here breaking
the law through the evil activity of growing veggies in
front of the house. 

This criminal couple (How dare they have anything other than wasteful, expensive to maintain grass in their front yard!) say the vegetables they're harvesting have improved their health, neighbors like the garden, and they share produce with their neighbors)

But the town said a neighbor complained, though I think that's code for a zoning enforcement person complained that his will is not being followed the way he wants it to be followed.  Apparently, front lawns in this Drummondville neighborhood are required to be 30 percent grass. I don't know why that rule is in place.

The couple face fines of $100 to $300 per day if they don't remove the garden and plant grass. 

As you can see by the photo, the garden is well maintained, so it's not like the neighbors are looking at an eyesore. And I do think it's reasonable to expect people with front yard gardens to keep them looking nice and neat, and well landscaped.

Not explained in any of the articles about this incident, and similar ones elsewhere in the country, is why zoning departments insist on grass on the front yard and not gardens. Gardens use less water, and better for the environment, and aren't a waste of space like lawns can be.

HGTV, that home and garden design network that shows all those oh-so-perfect houses, notes that front yard gardens can be designed to look absolutely gorgeous.  You might try tastefully arranged raised beds, landscaping and scattering some flowering plants among the veggies to make things look pretty for the neighbors and those hyper-critical zoning department inspectors.  

Don't get me wrong. Grassy yards are great if that's what you like. It's your house, do as you wish. No sense of living with surroundings you don't like. But geez, a garden is a bad thing?

Drummondville officials think so. They are working on an ordinance banning the growing of vegetables on front yards anywhere in town.  Because as we all know, a tomato plant growing on a front yard can lead to all sorts of criminal behavior.  I mean, what if somebody uses the tomatoes from the front yard garden to make salsa or something awful like that. 

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