Lawn wars ad infinitum


This discouraging item in the Ottawa Citizen:

Dianne Perras has been tending her front-yard garden for eight years, so she was horrified when she got a letter from the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation telling her to tear it up within a week so it could be replaced by grass.

Perras is a renter, so she is negotiating with the CEO of her housing corporation, who seems to be more understanding than the property manager who sent her the letter. Looks like she may be able to keep her garden (which apparently is a pretty conventional affair, with lilacs, irises, and other old-fashioned favorites), but what about other renters? It seems like there should be new language in leases that spell out what kind of gardening tenants can do.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Yep…

    Get rid of all of those beautiful flowers to make room for alien weed-grass…

    She’ll be a better citizen for it… 😉

  2. I wish I hadn’t clicked on that link. There was a story about two teenagers who killed a neighbor’s cat by putting it in a microwave. What is WRONG with people!?! The judge ordered them not to own pets for two years but said taking their cell phones away was “too harsh.” What?!? I think they should be “neutered” (to use a polite term) and get them out of the gene pool. Sorry, but I just cannot understand how people can be so cruel.

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