Gardener fighting village busybodies for the right to grow tomatoes in her front garden

Dora Lyakhovetsky, a gardner from Northbrook, IL, is fighting her village Board of Trustees for the right to keep tomatoes and flowers in her front yard instead of turf. The local code prohibits growing anything but grass out front, even though Lyakhovetsky's back yard is overshadowed by big trees and can't be used to grow anything.

Lyakhovetsky showed up at the Board meeting with a basket of tomatoes for her neighbors and asked them to reconsider.

"This isn't a garden dispute — this is a neighborhood dispute," said Goodman, who had circulated a petition in the neighborhood trying to drum up support for Lyakhovetsky's front yard garden on the 2700 block of Shannon Drive.

Somewhat of a community activist, Goodman told the board his petitioning job had never been so easy. The two people who objected most strenuously to Lyakhovetsky's garden, he said, did so because they did not like her.

Had someone else planted the garden, perhaps they would not have minded its prominent placement, he said.

"I know you think you can solve this by writing a new law," Goodman said.

But he said that wouldn't work because people would just find something else to complain about. Plus, he said, residents clearly don't want the village to do so.

Northbrook front-yard gardener brings some of her crop to Village Board

(Thanks, JArmstrong via Submitterator)

(Image: Phil Velasquez / Chicago Tribune)