More On The Garden Nazis

John Archibald’s take is here. It’s a good column, explaining that this incident is just another step in Homewood’s attempt to destroy what once made that town great. It also includes Mayor Barry McCulley’s justification for invading Amy Vickers’s home:

Vickers is under order from the city to clean up her organic garden of a yard or face possible court action. As the owner of a store that deals in earth-friendly products, she claims the jumble of a yard is safer than the chemically juiced lawns of her neighbors. The city, though, says Vickers’ free-range gardening creates an eyesore, and maybe danger.

“If it is so different it is distracting when someone is driving down the street it could be a safety issue,” Mayor Barry McCulley said.

Really? How many wrecks have occured at this address? Got any statistics on that? What if every house on the block is white, but one is green? Is that “so different it is distracting when someone is driving down the street it could be a safety issue?” How about the one house on the block that has not been torn down and rebuilt as a Homewood McMansion? Does that qualify? What of the only person on the block who does not have a Hummer? Are they required to sell their 1989 Honda Civic? Because passers bye would be so shocked at the sight of it that they would immediately spin off the road and into neighboring houses, killing thousands?

This is not a flashing neon sign on an interstate highway or a hog farm in a residential neighborhood; it is a garden in a woman’s front yard. If hypothetical fears of accidents justify condemning this woman’s home, then no-one’s home is safe.  But that’s the problem. This is not about safety, or public health, it’s about folks like Barry McCulley and Ms. Vickers’s busy body neighbors: Herd following materialists who are more concerned with social order and perceived property values than they are with people.  

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7 Comments on “More On The Garden Nazis”

  1. Kathy Says:

    When I think of the real problems so many people face, I’d like to smack the self-righteous smirks right off the complainers. Don’t they have anything better to do? Maybe feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner? ‘Cause I’ll betcha every one of them claims to be a good Christian.

    We got rid of the lawn service when my brother, who has a degree in ornamental horticulture and works as a landscaper, told me the chemicals could harm our children and pets. I’m right there with Ms. Vickers on that, and I dare the yard police to try to make me sign back up with Chem-Lawn.

    I wonder if the neighbors could get nuisance fines slapped on the people who buy houses just to tear them down and build tacky mansions that are way too big for the space they occupy — or maybe on the developers that are doing their best to destroy Rosedale. Now that might be a good idea.

  2. KC Says:

    stuff like this is why i will never live in a place w/ a homeowners association again!

  3. walt moffett Says:

    I got two old toilets in the back yard, maybe I should drop them off at the neighbors so they can have one too?

    On a more libertarian note, wouldn’t be better for those offended to resolve this thru the civil courts, even if it costs them money. The State’s only roles then would be as neutral arbitrator and enforcer of the peace.

    On another note, it is said somewhere that when the State focuses on trivia, it is on the decline.

  4. Loretta Nall Says:

    This is beyond the pale. You know what is distracting??? Chirstmas lights. Lot of Christmas lights making up pretty scenes, santa calus’, the manger scenes. They make me look off the road when I am driving and are a distraction. Ban them and lock up everyone who has them.

    I’m kidding of course but it makes about as much sense as harassing t his woman for an organic garden. I bet if she had plants growing in the shape of a cross or some other religious paraphernalia she would not have been harassed.

  5. Himself Says:

    When we first moved to our small town in NJ, there was a move afoot to pass an ordinance setting up a “historic district”, which seemed to me to be a poorly disguised effort at legislating someone’s idea of good taste in exterior decorating.

    A resistence movement developed, with opponents throughout down planting plastic pink flamingos on their lawns to identify themselves. (Except us – the domestic caucus deadlocked in a tie vote). It worked – nothing has been heard of the idea since.

    Altho’ the plastic Jesus is a good idea, too. You get a “freedom of religion” defense. Hmm. Jesus blessing the flamingos?

  6. Jim Vines Says:

    I live in Homewood and came under that law. In my case it took 7 and one half weeks for the city to get around to telling me what was wrong and what was needed. Then Mr. Cobb complained about having to send me a copy of the law that he was using.

    The laws are at

    My sin was mimosa, wisteria, and privet hedge on a lot that was natural when I moved in 10 years before.

    Note that there are no real defination.


    Excessive growth: The growth of weeds or other plant life which are not cultivated or landscaped or regularly tended to which reach a height in excess of eight (8) inches or the growth of any vines or kudzu which endangers other plant life, trees or property.

    t is hereby declared, due to the population density of the city, that the excessive growth or accumulation of weeds, undergrowth and similar living or dead plant material, situated in the incorporated limits of the city is contrary to the public health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the city in that such growth or accumulation creates a haven or breeding place for snakes, rats, rodents and other vermin of like or similar character, or creates a breeding place for mosquitoes, creates a firehazard to adjacent properties or adversely affects and impairs the economic welfare and value of adjacent property, and by reason of such factors is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. It is, therefore, deemed to be in the best interest of the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the city that such growth or accumulations, whether they be in the nature of weeds or other forms of plant life or other materials be removed in accordance with the following procedures of this article or that the violator of this article shall be otherwise punished as provided for herein.

  7. wheeler Says:

    thanks mr. “vines.” haha, sorry, couldn’t resist.

    anyway, even under that “definition” the city can’t bother ms. vickers. her plants are not “weeds” and it is a garden that she planted and tends, hence it is not “other plant life which are not cultivated or landscaped or regularly tended.” i really hope they get slammed in court.

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