The size of a postage stamp.

It’s spring time (finally) and with it a riot of garden growth.  Which always amazes me, the colors, the fragrances, the active squirrels, birds and bees.

But what’s up with front (and back) yards full of 2+ foot tall weeds?  And sidewalks/walkways riddled with weeds?

Most of our front yards are the size of a postage stamp.  So how hard is it to landscape that little bit of land and keep it looking attractive?  Why don’t people care? Where is the civic pride?  There are all kinds of good things that correlate to well-kempt front yards: community, decrease in crime, litter, etc.

Seems like there are four categories of front-yard owners in Alameda–residential or commercial:

-Cement Is Best – weeds in the cracks everywhere and we don’t need no stinkin’ permeable land!

-The Vacant Lot Look – What weeds?! What trash?

-Tending Wanne Bees – it looked good once….does it need regular maintenance?

-Well-Tended – well-designed and easy schmeasy maintenance, a hour or two per month

– The Martini – where gardening is an after-work and weekend relaxation technique

The first three rely types on yard blindness—you know, the way you simply do not see what’s right in front of you?  And provide eyesores to the community.  That said, I’ve had some cans of paint in my front yard all winter long that I’m sure people could complain about (honest, I’ll get to them any weekend now…)

It’d be nice if more people had civic pride and took an interest and participated in helping create the positive impact to our community that keeping nice looking curbs and front yards has. Failing that, I just wish people would keep their weedy front and back yards from going to seed so that the rest of us can enjoy in our gardens instead of getting up every second to weed out the sprouting seeds your continual neglect allows the wind to carry to our yards.

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About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

2 responses to “The size of a postage stamp.

  • alameda vigilante

    No, no Denise! Now you’re sounding like a self-righteous yokel! What’s next–will UB ratting out cars w/expired registrations? There are many sound reasons for ignoring one’s yard when there are more pressing problems:surgery, illness, disability, physical incapacity, death in the family, travel, work. Inability/refusal to pay some jerk with an ear-shattering gas-guzzling leaf blower $500 to noise-pollute the neighborhood. I invite U to come over & weed my front yard & City “maintained” strip for some sensitivity training!

  • Denise Lai

    av: the city doesn’t maintain any of the tree-strips in the residential neighborhoods, at least that I’ve seen. It’s up to the adjacent resident property owner. If I were seeing a kempt yard suddenly going unkempt, then of course, I’d have compassion and understanding, and probably offer a helping hand. That’s not what I’m seeing. Year after year, the same front yards and sometimes back too, all tall with weeds, grasses, and trees sprouting up from roots, etc., etc. The worst aspect is actually the foxtails as they are so dangerous for dogs, cause immense suffering for them, surgery, and so forth (and pricey vet bills!). Also, I do plenty of guerrilla gardening….haven’t you noticed?

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