Uppity Gardeners Ostracized, Stolen From


Dear Rehabber,

Tulips and marigolds?  We’re going to need to see a picture of that, but is it possible that your neighbors were just trying to save you from a horticultural fashion faux pas?

Plant selection aside, it’s no fun to have flowers ripped out of your front yard.  But trust us, it happens everywhere, not just in ‘transitional neighborhoods.’  Save your gorgeous tulips for the back yard, and plant the front with hardy but beautiful perennials that can handle street life.

As for the accusation that you’re ‘uppity’–well, face it.  You’ve already taken a count of the number of college degrees on your block.  You’re probably hoping that more people like you move in, driving out the lower-income renters and making it more likely that the homeowners who are just barely hanging on to their run-down homes will cash out, taking their Rottweilers and their junky cars with them.

Please ignore Annie’s advice to "invite someone over for pie and coffee" or "ask to borrow a cup of sugar."  Who the hell borrows sugar anymore?  Instead, take a long look inside. If you’re looking down on your neighbors and silently criticizing the way they live, then guess what?  They might not be lining up around the block to be your best friend.

But if you can keep your house looking nice and say be friendly to these non-college-graduates, they might just come around eventually.

Or you can go move to one of those fancy new subdivisions where the uppity homeowners association, not the vandalizing teenagers, govern what you can plant in your front yard.


  1. Henry Mitchell [yeah, some of you are probably tired of hearing about our St. Henry, but too bad] said that he planted crocus out near the front sidewalk, in the full expectation that small children would pick them. I wonder what would happen if we all tried that kind of thing?

    How did the Michigan rehabbers know whether people were college graduates? Did they go around the block asking for credentials? Or if no team pennants were flying during football season, was it assumed the neighbors didn’t have a school to cheer for?? This is one weird letter.


Comments are closed.