Wednesday, 13 August 2008


Over in Atlanta and in other parts of the USA, there is a lot of discussion going on about what should be grown in your front yard. There are, evidently, places where you are not allowed to grow vegetables there and must conform to very strict standards when maintaining your lawn and visible space. This to me and to most Australians, I would imagine, is going just way too far into controlling people's lives. We are a nation of larrikins and rebels - it's not just me - and are not likely to conform to such rules. If my grandfather didn't like a regulation he said he didn't hold with it and that meant he wouldn't abide by it no matter what. I am with him.

In the latest Organic Gardener magazine there is a little piece about a Victorian residential development proposed by A V Jennings - a prominent builder and developer in Australia - which had in its guidelines ......"Vegetable gardens should be located so that they are not visible from the street..." The magazine wrote to A V Jennings requesting an explanation, after being alerted to this by a reader. The swift and positive response said...." the guidelines will be amended, removing restrictions on where residents can grow vegetables. Every home in the development will also be supplied with recycled water, giving residents the chance to maintain their gardens....." Good. Speak up. Rebel. Get things changed and never ever let a developer or anyone tell you what you can grow where.

This is now, not the 1960's when spick-and-span-man was out tidying up and spraying everything with chemicals. Surely we have learned by now that the result of that type of lifestyle is pollution, climate change, increased cancer rates, community breakdown and the destruction of social capital (ah yes, Mark Latham was a fire-cracker but he had some great ideas and I will write about this one soon...maybe....or read his autobiography yourself).

Life is good. But you have to speak up, rebel and get things changed to keep it that way.


Maggie said...

Love your spick and span man Kate. We see hundreds of them as we walk the dogs.
They are still thriving down here on the plains, they use noise blowers and spray roundup or other chemicals everywhere.
"gotta get those weeds"
And the body corporates for units are even worse, my friend has to have their approval to plant anything.
And then there are many nearby who have plastic lawns, I kid you not.

chaiselongue said...

Vegetable gardens look better than lawns anyway, I think. And we should grow what we like, where we like, so long as it's suitable to the climate. Lawns just take water for no useful purpose. I'm angered by some municipalities near here - P├ęzenas for one - which water grass on roundabouts etc. Lawns are not supposed to grow here in the dry Midi. Municipal planting which uses indigenous plants looks so much better. And as for golf courses .... Yes, we must rebel! People here in the Midi have a healthy attitude to rules from far-away Paris - if you don't like them, ignore them!

Pattie Baker said...

Progress here! I visited yet another neighbor yesterday who has stopped, cold turkey, with the lawn chemicals. Change IS happening. Awareness is first.

Ewa said...

Kate, I am totally with you on that, however I often have doubts if my speaking up will chnage anything - that is stupid too shy thinking. I am working on changing that :)
Thanks for reminder.