Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Garden is Against the Law

I got an official warning in the mail today from the City of New Haven.  It seems the garden box Erica and I put in a few weeks ago is illegal.  It is in the "treeline."  For a while now I have been wondering what that strip of land is called--the one between the sidewalk and the street.  Now I know it is called the treeline.

We are risking a $100.00 fine if we do not remove the "illegal garden."  

This makes me sad.  I really like our little garden.  It brightens my day and it brightens our block.  As we built it I told Erica we would probably need to take it out one day when the city needed to do curb or water pipe work.  I just didn't think that day would come so soon.

I have left a message with John Cox--the city employee who wrote the warning--asking if we can talk.  I hope he calls me back soon and that we can find a way to save our little patch of green.


  1. Why not just pay the fine? The garden certainly provides more than $100 of value, no? As a future neighbor, I would be happy to pitch in!

  2. oh it's so lovely! i wonder if you refuse to pay the fine, if you would be able to argue for your garden and other gardets like it, to be kept on the "tree-lines" all about the city? i'd rather see gardens than...boring old grass.

  3. The fine this time is $100.00. The maximum fine is $9900.00 and my fear is I will get another ticket. And another. And another. I will talk with John Cox and see what our options are.

  4. move to Minneapolis (where that strip seems to be called a "boulevard"...); I've planted a flower garden there, and the city hasn't said anything in the past 7 years.

  5. Came here today via a link in the New York Times. Your little garden is beautiful--if only more people would turn those little plots between the sidewalk and street into gardens (at least for flowers, if not vegetables). Your blog entry was from 2009 -- have you been able to keep your garden going?

    1. I kept it going until this year, when we moved to Ithaca, NY. I am looking forward to spring and the chance to start a new garden here.

      Below are some links to other posts that mention the garden: