Boulder man faces $2000 fine/day for guerilla garden fencing

Scott Hoffenberg, who lives in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, is growing a vegetable garden in the space between the sidewalk and the street on University Avenue. A neighbor complained about the trellises and fencing in the parkway, and Hoffenberg has been ordered to remove them or face a $2,000 per day fine.

[L]ast month, an enforcement officer from Boulder’s Environmental and Zoning Enforcement office showed up and said a neighbor had complained about the garden.

“She said to take it all down – the tomato cages, the trellises, the posts, the basketball hoop, everything,” Hoffenberg said.


Hoffenberg has until July 14 to take down the trellises and fencing. At that point, Arthur said, he could be cited, and a judge could impose a fine. Or the city could remove the impediments, since they’re on public property, Arthur said, if they’re not able to reach a compromise.

Boulder, curbside gardeners spar over right-of-way (Boulder Daily Camera) (Thanks, Nina!)


  1. Ripping out a garden that beautiful would be a crying shame. Many people in my city utilize that strip for gardening – it looks like he was blessed with a rather large one and decided to use it in a productive way.

  2. Boulder and Colorado Springs are CO’s lil slice of Cali..without any of the COOL stuff that Cali has. Just a bunch of idiots that moved from there. Bah.

  3. A $2000/day fine? I think it’s great that he’s building a garden, but if this really, really is a problem, can’t the city just pull the stuff out themselves and send a bill instead of trying to make an example out of him?

  4. As I commented on another Boing Boing post: in America, we have this legal thing called “Attractive Nuisance,” meaning something that looks pretty but is actually hazardous. (For example, a pretty garden that’s only inches from vehicular traffic.)

    If you have an attractive nuisance on your land, and something horrible happens, the liability could utterly ruin you. You can mitigate your liability by purchasing more insurance — but it’s really expensive, and it’s still not a guaranteed get-out-of-jail card.

    It’s awful and stupid and it sucks. But that’s simply the way things are sometimes. Maybe some guerilla lawyers and urban planners would be willing to help this gardener work out something legal.

  5. Why so much space between the sidewalk and the road? Seems like a waste. Was it just dirt before?
    So many questions…

  6. Yes I saw your post, good point. This illustrates differences in culture…in Japan, this would not be the outcome. Not better, just different. Cultures do move and change, we tend to go to best practice, and couldn’t the Legislature change the Law re: attractive nuisance, anyway? I mean if telcos can do it…no I’m joking, but the Law can unsuit causes of action( eg nuisance) by statute for cases yet to arise, yes?
    Anyhow this person seems to be having trouble with an Ordnance of some kind, not a lawsuit…maybe the Officer is mistaken as to the probable outcome in Court or the likelihood of the City taking action…
    Is “attractive nuisance” the reason behind those anti-miniskirt laws of the Sixties, precursor to the even-worse crackdown on hot pants brought in in the 80s?

  7. Sheesh, when did Boulder get so uptight.
    When I lived there you could plant gardens pretty much anywhere. Feels more like the city has gone from DIY hippie to 401K richie.

  8. And why are not Billboard owners not held liable under the same principle?
    liable to suit, that is…

  9. Ywn. Ths sms mr f pt ss thn smthng tht blngs n drctry f “wndrfl thngs”. Ths s th frst tm ‘m wrtng “Ywn” pst n my lf.

  10. I hope Boulder residents are making a FOIA request to find out the name of the resident who made the complaint. ‘Cause y’know, sometimes there’s a difference between “enforcing the law” and “being a jerk”, and it’s important to help confused people understand it.

  11. TRR, some parking strips are just unusually wide. Often if the street is being planned as more of a boulevard (think extra wide, a median strip down the center of the street, lots of trees) they’ll make the parking strips wider too.

    In Portland I own the entire lot from the curb to the backyard fence. The city has the legal authority to create an easement for a pedestrian sidewalk; even so, if the sidewalk cracks and poses a problem it’s my responsibility to fix it. Anyway, what I was getting at is – the sidewalk is the public right of way; the parking strip is not, unless Boulder just has a really unusual law.

  12. Just wondering, can you annex municipal property via squatter’s rights? That could get awfully fun.

  13. Yummy – fruits and veggies grown in an environment that features frequent exposure to automobile exhaust. I’ll pass, thanks.

    There’s also the issue of visibility for people trying to get out of driveways. It sure sounds like he’s got a fairly large complex setup. (trellises, etc.) I can see something like that being a real hassle for his neighbors.

    Not to mention stuff like buried utility lines, sewer lines, etc. etc.

    Look, I’m all for personal freedom. I even think you should be allowed to grow your own weed, but not on the strip between the street and the sidewalk. If you want a garden, live someplace with space for one.

  14. surely to a driver who’s concentrating, this is just a bit more greenery… do they police avertising hoardings (billboards) so vigilantly?

  15. This has nothing to do with attractive nuisance. Attractive nuisance is a doctrine by which landowners who have something on their land that is both dangerous and would foreseeably entice children to trespass on their land to do something to keep kids from hurting themselves on it. Dilapidated play structures and swimming pools are the clearest examples. As this is neither dangerous nor enticing kids to trespass, attractive nuisance isn’t even in the ballpark.

    Naw, this is just the city cracking down on use of its property. When I lived in Seattle, the city owned the strip between the street and the sidewalk. Homeowners had the responsibility of maintaining the strip, but in exchange got to do almost anything they wanted vegetation wise. The only real restriction was against trees with invasive sidewalk-damaging root systems. Gardens, planters, lawns, stuff you wanted to get rid of…all good.

  16. @Joe MommaSan

    Yummy – fruits and veggies grown in an environment that features frequent exposure to automobile exhaust.

    You mean like a tractor?

  17. More of I am entitled to do what I want even though I know its not legal then hide behind look what the big powerful government is doing to little old me trying to make things better. The decline of American Civilization, example 1013.

  18. Mark I object to this post deeply. It’s clearly anti-weed and crabgrass, which are the dominant species on most easements and “unspaces” like this.

    Why couldn’t the good government of Boulder support this man’s work? Perhaps work with him to purchase the property, or help coordinate a donation to local food pantries? Or simply embrace the idea and start using other non-spaces in such a manner?

    No, its the age of “Zero Tolerance” and fines and completely inflexible institutions. Sad.

  19. Thank you 3PAC10! I was going to write that: an attractive nuisance is a trampoline clearly visible from the street, not rainbow chard.

    @JOEMOMMASAN, I’d take those organics grown along University Avenue in Boulder over genetically modified and insecticide laden offerings from the supermarket any day!

  20. It has hard to tell from the video what exactly was in the median between the sidewalk and the street. I suppose it depends on where you are as to whether or not the enforcement of laws concerning people not being allowed to plant stuff in medians… but reading the article, it appears the city may have different voices telling Mr. Hoffenberg what will or will not be allowed. I can see where the city is coming from regarding the fences being an obstacle to public right of way. And at the same time, I do love Mr. Hoffenberg’s urban gardening. While I’m not a lawyer, the $2,000 per day fine seems really outrageous. As an amateur urban gardener, I’d say that it may not have been the best move to put those fences up, but obviously he’d like to defend against pests. Work with the city to see what can be done, and try to keep the lawyers at bay. Good luck!

  21. I am quite pleased that 3Pac10 has already corrected MattyMatt’s (repeat) wild misstatement about attractive nuisance.

    Leaving aside the problem that it’s hard to see how this is all that hazardous, “pretty but hazardous” is not remotely the definition of an attractive nuisance. Nor is “cute but annoying.”

    “Attractive” doesn’t mean “nice looking” in this context, it means it attracts children who trespass and are then harmed by the nuisance. Basically, if you have an attractive nuisance on your property, you have something so attractive to and dangerous to children that you a duty to try to protect/deter potential child trespassers that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Most of the attractive nuisance case law is about hulking abandoned industrial crap that children tried to play on, not anything “attractive” in the sense of aesthetically pleasing.

  22. I’ve recently moved away from Boulder, as it is no longer the Boulder that I grew to love. (Though I do still, and always will, love the place.) This doesn’t surprise me; that place now seems over-corrected. As in politically-corrected and socially-corrected.

    That kind dude should move up the slope to Nederland.

  23. ♪ ♫ It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, ♫ ♪
    ♫ ♪ A beautiful day for a neighbor. ♪ ♫
    ♪ ♫ Would you be my fertilizer? ♫ ♪
    ♫ ♪ Could you be my fertilizer? ♪ ♫

  24. Responding to some comments just before my posting:

    You’ve obviously never been down University blvd in Boulder. This stretch is anything but ‘urban’, it’s about two blocks away from open space and the Rocky Mountains. This dude’s garden doesn’t block anything but his neighbor’s frisbee or errant bike route/drunken stumbling. It may, however, intrude on some gentrifying (if I may stretch the term to the limit) guy’s image of his own property’s value.

    MGFARRELLY; you’ve hit it on the head; freakishly high property values and lots of CA imports have, in the past decade or so, brought Boulder into the era of zero tolerance. Or, at the very least, an era of less tolerance. MJ is, after all, pretty much decriminalized for personal use in parts of CO..

  25. When I read #5, I pictured Homer lecturing to Lisa: “in America, we have this legal thing called “Attractive Nuisance ….”

    Others have already corrected the error of bring up attractive nuisance, but to beat the dead horse, Colorado even has a statute on the books that expressly limits liability of kind property owners who allow others to use their land for recreation. Again, it’s public land so not relevant, but ladies and gentlemen, don’t destroy your gardens out of fear of tort lawyers.

    #11 — Could you go ahead and get rid of your consonant keys, too? Thanks! Er, Thks!

  26. It’s important to read the linked article to see understand the issue. The city doesn’t object to the garden – in fact, according to the article, they would like for the gardener to be able to keep the garden. The issue are the fences and trellises in the garden – they are what must be removed.

  27. …Why would someone complain about a garden? I mean. I would complain about a lump of empty, ugly dirt, not a thriving garden on someonelse’s tab.

  28. #30 — yep.

    seems the city doesn’t think he should be able to fence off the publicly owned, couple hundred square ft space in front of his property. they want to maintain the public right of way — for people to move from the sidewalk to the street. i think that’s kinda reasonable — at about :36 in the video you see the fence blocks access from the sidewalk. i understand the need to protect veggies from animals somehow. but it sounds like if it was just staked plants which didn’t obstruct access this wouldn’t be an issue.

  29. It was a nice idea, but he should have known better than to build a nuisance. I know it hurts, but I have to side with the city on this one.

  30. what is wrong with this guys yard?

    Is it not as good as having your tomatoes next to an exhaust pipe?

    And they seem to only be upset about the obstructions.

    He could turn it into an herb garden and it would be fine.

    If I parked on his street and got hit by a car while walking down to find and open area between fenced tomato patches to get to the sidewalk, I think I would call a lawyer.

  31. This would be an awesome post if it was actually about a man made of large rocks practicing the sport of fencing against a garden that wages guerilla warfare.

  32. I’m agreeing about the trellis and fences coming down… I don’t have issue with the garden but this little slice of land isn’t his and he shouldn’t be planting like it’s his back yard. He should have kept it to low lying plants and things that didn’t need propping up.

  33. Bitchy neighbor. If it was flowers, grass, and trees (like everyone else) I bet nothing would’ve been said. How dare you do something different than your neighbors, sir, how dare you.

    Personally, and I don’t know why I’m the first to say it, I would have just waited ’til harvest time and stole myself some salad.

    And #2…I’ve been to CO Springs. Doesn’t seem remotely like California. I’ve got photos of a huge Jesus parade of some sort or another to make my case. That and NORAD.

  34. The time will come when cities will reward homeowners for planting vegetables in their front yard.

  35. Everyone should do this. Think of all that wasted land, plus the extra food production. We might manage to break the backs of a few Walmarts, and some agri-giants. It makes me want to look into the law here and see what it says about doing it.

    Plus, I might get to piss off some of my neighbors.

  36. #38 –
    Colorado Springs is Amurca F*k Yeah City. Denver is a generic centrist pool and Boulder likes to pride itself on being comparatively super-liberal.

    And I’ll join the chorus saying that the issue is the fences and trellises. It would be out of character for Boulder authorities to crack down on guerrilla gardening for the sake of guerrilla gardening.

  37. I’m really not grasping what, exactly, his trellises and such are supposedly impeding. Other than things that would eat/wreck the vegetables and kids who can could probably use the exercise gained by walking for a few seconds to get around it.

  38. As a native Coloradoan, all I have to say is:

    Boulder: 2 square miles surrounded by reality.

    This is exactly the kind of thing that I hate Boulder for. Hippies acting all entitled to use other people’s stuff (even if it’s public stuff) for their own uses.

    My irritation with this case goes both ways, though. First, this clown. Then the Boulder government fining him instead of just sending out a team with a weed whacker and some garbage bags. It’s a stupid situation all ’round.

    And I honestly don’t get why there aren’t more people here with that angle… It’s like David Pescowitz and his graffiti posts. At least this kind of vandalism is natural and easy to get rid of, but both irritate as a total disregard for other people’s property.

    Ugh, he had to have on Birks and a ponytail, didn’t he… Boulder… Ugh. I wonder if he bugs people on Pearl Street Mall for change, too.

  39. ..I think Gardens should be encouraged more. Authorities must not go after people setting up gardens like these !!

    Harry S.

  40. People: The city isn’t telling him to get rid of his garden. They’re saying to get rid of the FENCING. “The tomato cages, the trellises, the posts, the basketball hoop” (THE BASKETBALL HOOP?). If Boulder is like any city I’ve lived in, it owns the right-of-way and has the right to make sure it’s not a public nuisance. And if fencing is restricting pedestrian traffic, they have the right to tell the owner to fix it – just as they have the right to tell home owners to trim trees that block sidewalk or road traffic.

    I’m sure if it was just lettace, cabbage, and other low-hanging vegetation it wouldn’t be an issue. But if you want tomatoes or other veggies that require framing, plant them somewhere else.

  41. “Mee too”

    Low lying, minimal maintenance plants would still look nice and not seem like he’s taking over the place, which is kinda what that looks like.

    Basically he’s doing the right thing the wrong way.

  42. Seeing as it is not his property, he probably should have been a bit more stealthy about it. The posts, fencing, trellises and such are a bit much in such a space.

    As to why he has it in this space instead of on his property, perhaps his yard is heavily shaded?

    Sounds like he overstepped a bit. Sounds like his neighbor is a controlling asshat. Sounds like the city is overreacting. Business as usual all around. Compromise? Commonsense? Reasonable Response? What planet are you people on, and when was the last time you saw a reasonable response to ANYTHING from any local or federal gov’t, from the TSA to a school board.

    We’ve embraced a lot of things that don’t make me particularly proud to be an American: conspicuous consumption for one thing, and now aggressive stupidity.

    This little tale is just a typical suburban scenario. I just loathe suburbia. I hate the waste of resources, the lack of community, the lack of imagination, the sheep-like behavior of the residents.

    Few things represent all that is wrong with the American suburban lifestyle as clearly as lawns and the obsession with lawn care.

    It puts me in mind of Dune, of that ritual in which a cup of water was spilled on the floor. People starve, yet we grow these pointless swathes of grass around our homes. It makes me think of those statues on Easter Island, and a culture so obsessed that they destroyed their world’s ecosystem.

    Obviously, lawns are not the root of all evil, they are a small evil. But they represent, in many small ways, stupidity, greed, ego, selfishness and a total lack of imagination and vision.

    At its best, a lawn is a pleasant green space for people to use, to walk on and play on and to sit out in and enjoy the out of doors, but that is not what we see happening in suburbia. Most people who have homes with lawns barely set foot on them. Lawns are symbolic of success, of cleanliness, of conformity.

    The amount of energy wasted, the fertilizers and poisons spread, the water wasted, the air and noise pollution generated by mowers and leaf blowers, boggles the mind. That branch of agribiz devoted to lawns has upped the ante and now nothing but a deep green monoculture will suffice.

    And the suckers fall for it. Uptight suburbanites fearful of being judged as lacking, frantic to keep pace with their neighbors or, I dunno, compensating for their extremely small genitalia, strive for those perfect lawns. They buy whatever product is offered: chemicals, ride-on mowers, automatic sprinkling systems, service contracts from lawncare companies.

    And anything remotely sensible, a yard allowed to become a thicket that might provide an oasis of wildlife habitat, a garden with any sort of planting outside of those landscape plants approved by the neighborhood association, a flock of chickens (Yes, chickens! Heaven forfend!), or something as simple, sensible and green as a clothesline is not to be tolerated. Not on your yard or on your neighbors. A lack of conformity will not be tolerated.

    But all of this will coming crashing down, and sooner than you think. Energy costs and food prices are going to go right through the roof. Oh yes, we will see vegetable gardens return, and clothes lines and maybe even chickens.

    Even the crabby neighbor hiding behind her living room curtains who called the cops on this guy, he or she is going to change her mind a few years from now.

    She’s going to be hungry.

  43. Yes the Levittown lawn never became the gathering place for neighbors to meet and share that was intended at the outset.
    If you were designing a habitat from scratch why would there be front lawns? For what purpose? Why front and not say only at the back?

  44. I was feeling for the guy until I read “basketball hoop.” How many gardens have basketball hoops in them? It seems that there is more to this story than an eco hippy growing food getting hassled by the man.

  45. @51: I’d leave them in as a setback from the road and its traffic. Privacy and noise reduction for those in the house.

  46. From the article: “Arthur said trellises and fencing could be replaced with “alternative materials” that might pass muster, so long as they are light-weight, easy to move and not taller than 30 inches high.”

    Oh no, the man forcing him to have trellises less than (or equal to) two and a half feet tall! The humanity!

  47. I agree with many of the comments stating that Boulder isn’t what it used to be. It has become entitled and bogged down with covenants and the like. I don’t doubt that pretty soon Boulder will be a gated community, and all of the “DIY hippie” contingent will be moved outside the city walls. It’s more like a resort town than a college town now.

    As for Colorado Springs, I am a native, removed now some ten years. In that time, the city has ballooned and sprawled with little regard for true city planning. The only place I recall having strict rules and covenants are the more upscale areas, like Briargate, Mountain Shadows, and the historic district downtown. I feel the area around Colorado College is suffering the same fate as Boulder, and that makes me very sad.

  48. @51 Jane Jacobs said, if you want a neighborhood, you need sidewalks and porches. Stoops will do in a pinch.

    @53 Noise reduction, but not from the mowers and blowers. An acre of yard, or two or three won’t stop that noise that will penetrate like a jackhammer. Better to reduce the lawns, to use brooms and rakes for the tidy up. Sheep maybe.

    Suburbanites are big on their privacy. Personally I think it is overrated. More isolation than privacy. All the better to beat your wife? All the better to incest your kid? Just do it behind closed doors. And don’t make too much noise (except for lawn mowers and leaf blowers, there’s no decibel limits there, but let a rooster crow and the sky will fall). Don’t do anything interesting. Don’t make art projects outside either.

    It’s your property. You own it, own it, own it. This piece of the planet stolen, now bought and paid for, propery, all important to the American dream. It’s yours, just so long as you keep the lawn green and don’t paint your house in colors that are too wild.

    Live in your silent misery behind closed doors, out of your neighbor’s sight. Roll out to the mall and buy stuff and bring it home, drag it inside, shut the door. Toss back that scotch. Watch your billboard-sized television. The good life, the American life. Sign me up?


  49. You can bet that if that particular strip of useless grass (or whatever it was before) had been turned into parking spaces, no one would have complained.

    Anyway – this is the future. More urban producer gardening.

  50. Kyle #44:

    Why hate on hippies so much? They seem like an easy target for bullying to me. Not very inclusive, but I’m sure you have your (valid, and in no way personal) reasons.

    I’d much rather deal with these “clowns” than that sort of vacant anger.

  51. I find it *amazing* that out of 56 posts, 4 people above actually read the article.

    Crazy facts mentioned BLATANTLY in the article:

    – The issue at hand is ‘right-of-way’ and public use/access to that strip, which is what must be maintained. They liken this to restaurants who do sidewalk seating – which is strictly regulated.

    – The city is actually SUPPORTIVE of the garden. Not against it. He doesn’t have a permit to occupy the right of way, and constructed obstacles in it.

    – The city is trying to compromise and find a way to make the garden work LEGALLY. Their issue isn’t with the garden, its with the fencing and trellises.

    I suggest the 51 of you above who didnt bother clicking the link actually click it and read the article.

  52. The city recently tore down the free growing raspberry bushes in the park behind our building for no reason that I can understand.

  53. In some of the nice neighborhoods of Washington, DC, there are tiny little gardens all over the place between the sidewalk and the street. Almost all of my sister’s block has gardens like this. One has huge rose bushes growing there, and another has several very large ears of corn!

  54. I believe the only problem with the garden, other than his neighbor’s complaint, is it’s height. Some of the plants and materials are high enough to cause a visibility problem with passing motorists. For instance, someone driving by wouldn’t be able to see a child about to chase a ball into the street.

    If the guy in the video had made a garden with lower plants, with no fences, trellises, etc. it would be more attractive and I doubt if the neighbor would have complained. Any well kept garden would be more attractive than a patch of lawn.

  55. I thought it pertinent to comment as I live a few blocks down the street from these kind folks.

    While they do have a few small barriers to detract animals, imo they have nothing that constitutes a blockade in the four-erected-walls sense of the term.

    Beyond that, their lettuce looks amazing! Each time I pass their garden I always try and stop by and say hello.

    This family has made every effort to invite the community into their growing op, and the fact that the city is putting any effort towards forcibly taking it down is maddening.

    But the garden will survive without walls. It’s silly to assume that anything will change with the removal of a few feet of chicken wire.

    I congratulate this family on their bravery in the face of incredible stress and unexpected media coverage.


  56. Live in your silent misery behind closed doors, out of your neighbor’s sight. Roll out to the mall and buy stuff and bring it home, drag it inside, shut the door. Toss back that scotch. Watch your billboard-sized television. The good life, the American life. Sign me up?

    Things that would make you miserable make all other people miserable? I had no idea that there was a Système Internationale for mental states, let alone that you were the gold standard. Can I have your autograph?

  57. Stealing, using against restriction, or changing/modifying property that you don’t own just isn’t cool.

    This isn’t about community or whether gardening is admirable in general, it’s simply a case of property infringement.

  58. young Pip mentions Jane Jacobs, which reminded me of this poster: (which I think is what this is or should be really about)

    How to Build Community

    Turn off your TV
    Leave your house
    Know your neighbors
    Look up when you are walking
    Greet people
    Sit on your stoop
    Plant flowers
    Use your library
    Play together
    Buy from local merchants
    Share what you have
    Help a lost dog
    Take children to the park
    Garden together
    Support neighborhood schools
    Fix it even if you didn’t break it
    Have pot lucks
    Honor elders
    Pick up litter
    Read stories aloud
    Dance in the street
    Talk to the mail carrier
    Listen to the birds
    Put up a swing
    Help carry something heavy
    Barter for your goods
    Start a tradition
    Ask a question
    Hire young people for odd jobs
    Organize a block party
    Bake extra and share
    Ask for help when you need it
    Open your shades
    Sing together
    Share your skills
    Take back the night
    Turn up the music
    Turn down the music
    Listen before you react to anger
    Mediate a conflict
    Seek to understand
    Learn from new and uncomfortable angles
    Know that no one is silent though many are not heard. Work to change this.

  59. All of the suggestions on that list sounds great and would probably work in a small town, if most of them aren’t already being practiced. Mediating a conflict, opening your shades, and organizing a block party may not be a good idea in some areas. Introduced in small doses, that list should work just about anywhere though.

  60. They make a commercial poster version, but I am sure it would be OK to make your own and plaster the neighbourhood. I did.

  61. All of the suggestions on that list sounds great and would probably work in a small town,

    I lived in a fairly small suburb for a year and was met with antipathy at best and animosity at worst for trying to practice any of those neighborly behaviors. Drive your car to your couch, plant ass in seat, turn on tube, get off my lawn.

    The city neighborhood I live in now has more of this simple basically human conduct.

    The contrast? The suburb banned trick or treating and enforced that ban with the cops. My block had a halloween party for all the kids on our street.

    It’s about the people and their willingness to try not the amount of people.

  62. What a numb nut that guy is. Guerilla gardening is one thing and I’m all for it in the classic sense but building fences is way over the top and guaranteed to annoy almost everyone who actually lives there and isn’t just making unthinking comments here.

    What he’s done is taken a public chunk of land and effectively declared ownership of it in the eyes of the world by fencing it off.

    I’m pretty certain the big guerilla gardening groups would be dead set against what he’s done which doesn’t fit at all in the spirit of what they are doing.

    This guy is not a guerilla gardener in the accepted usage sense, nothing more than an idiot and Boing Boing should not be calling him one, he’s just some guy who foolishly fenced off public property and needs to get the book thrown at him as an inducement to trigger his brain into gear.

  63. Paul,

    Gold standard for happiness? Me? Nope. Not a chance.

    Didn’t mean you personally. Sloppy posting on my part and I’ve done it before.

    And now I’ll just scamper.

  64. Lawns began in the colonial era, when all of the houses fronted on a town square that was used to graze livestock. We hold onto the idea of a common grazing area with the close-cut green grass lawn in front of the house that is supposed to run uninterrupted down the length of the block.

    Yep, the problem is that it’s in Boulder. In my neighborhood, only about half of the yards have living grass and lots have tall, untidy things planted right up to the edge of the sidewalk. I live in a bad Denver neighborhood, and we all hang out outside in the evenings, the kids all play in the street, we know each other, each other’s kids, and each other’s pets. Every backyard has a clothesline. Some of my neighbors are even living the ‘pets or meat’ debate daily with their pet chickens and geese. Is it because we’re neo-hippies, dedicated to a green lifestyle? Nope! We’re all broke. We hang out outside because our houses are claustrophobic, clotheslines are free, and the zoning inspectors have bigger nightmares than whether someone is encroaching on public land. A property value debate would just prompt guffaws.

  65. Please note: It was NOT an exodus of “hippies” , but of James Dobson-following, mega-church goin’, fundies who tripped along after Dobson when he decided the OC was getting too ungodly (and un-white)that besieged Colorado a while back. Sorry about that- like the Mediterranean fruit fly and earthquakes, we’d gotten used to ’em, and REALLY had no intention of inflicting them on others.
    Now- back to the garden at hand- I am very much for food-not lawns, and hey- if the city is going to make him take care of it, why shouldn’t he do what he wants?
    But, that said- perhaps a little more landscape-sensitive planting would help? How about a couple of dwarf apple tress with ground-covering berries or herbs planted underneath? Or a pretty rosemary hedge around the perimeter? This veggie garden as-is is laudable, but pretty unlovely except from a “ooh! yum! veggies!” point of view.
    Can’t say I’d count it as raising the property values as it is. (But I’d still wait out this growing season and THEN talk to my neighbor face-to-face about it!).

  66. I do not understand the enthusiasm for Guerilla gardening.

    I’m a gardener, organic at that. I pull a year’s worth of veggies out of the ground in my very small backyard. I’m a year-round bike commuter in Western Mass, so I get some earthy/crunchy points.

    Given that, the only thing Guerilla gardens do is make me wonder why people do it. I see this as a great way to make folks who aren’t gardeners pissed off. It’s not like the Mayor’s office is approving the use.

    You want a garden? Do plantings in the backyard, in buckets on a porch or by the driveway, but decide to plant just anywhere you like and I think you’re a tool.

    If you decide for yourself how property you don’t control should be used and so will other people. You know, for dumping couches, or planting “controlled substances” which would certainly bring about the wrong attention.

    Sorry, but get a permit, me thinks.

  67. JUST DON’T TYPE “ME THINKS”, MMMK? sorry, please disemvowel, but that phrase is for douchebags and comic book guy.

  68. I live here in what we euphemistically call the “People’s REPUBLIC of Boulder”. I would like to both help with the garden, as well as document(video audio) the efects of any court-mandated removal.


  69. “Sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.”…William Shakespeare

    “Now ’tis spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
    Suffer them now and they’ll o’ergrow the garden.”…William Shakespeare, Henry IV

  70. Twas’ typed in the spirit of irony, good sir, I didst not mean to offend. And I live less than a mile from that garden.

  71. Public: 1. Of, concerning, or affecting the community or the people: the public good.
    2. Maintained for or used by the people or community: a public park.

    Im afraid this man must not be a member of the public. In fact, even if you are a member of the public, you are barred and banned from many PUBLIC places after dark, you are not allowed to do many things in public places that should be allowed. The definition of public in most peoples minds is much more similar to private government. In other words if its a public place its not for you, the people, its in fact for them, the government and you are allowed to walk on it. In fact America is your land and if one man finds a nice shitty spot not being used and he decides to grow food (that doesnt obstruct view or cause disturbances) then the more power to him. The fact is we will all likely have to grow our own food someday soon to afford it.

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