“Brown said he only got involved after receiving numerous e-mails from angry gardeners.”



Yeah, more on this. But I had to share this gorgeous image of Jean in her garden (taken by News photographer Harry Scull, famous for his shot of OJ’s Bruno Maglias) and provide further proof of the power of your activism. Had those emails not arrived (they really caused a sensation), Jean might still be facing a court date. Here’s another excerpt from the story (priceless quote above) that appeared in today’s story in the Buffalo News by Brian Meyer:

In the span of two days, Jean Dickson’s lush front yard on Crescent Avenue received separate visits from the mayor, the city’s top inspections honcho and two other city administrators.

They didn’t come to admire the rose of Sharon, peonies and wildflowers that have created a distinctive landscape in this Parkside neighborhood.

City Hall leaders visited because an inspector sent Dickson notice that her garden was violating ordinances. That, in turn, touched off a tidal wave of e-mails and blog entries from outraged gardeners.

Mayor Byron W. Brown said he even received e-mails from people living out of state.

Read the whole story here. Buffalo News story I may have to remove the picture (not kosher, I know) but you can see it on the website for a week.

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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 yahoo.com


  1. I just love being part of an angry, gardening email mob! It’s great that Jean doesn’t have this hanging over her head, but does she already have legal fees?

  2. Never been called an angry gardener from out of state before. Kinda makes me proud.

    Minnesota also has lawn nazis too.

  3. This is just really exciting. Imagine what we can do together in the future, led by our fearless leaders of Garden Rant! Kudos to everyone involved.

  4. Garden on, Jean!

    This series of posts really shows the power of this new kind of “community garden club”. Who’d have thought that computers would ever have anything to do with gardening.

    Thanks for letting us in on the story.

  5. That’s so awesome that we really made a difference!

    I would have said “badly” too, so I learned some new grammer today 🙂

  6. I don’t get people. Don’t they have anything better to do than to complain that someone has too many flowers growing in their yard?
    I guess I better watch out or the flower police will come and get me too.
    I’m glad it all worked out but it’s ashame it had to happen in the first place.

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