Proponent of curbside gardens that I am, I’ve walked enough sidewalks to know how easily they can add to the jungle of vegetation that makes the damn things impassable, or at least a menace to the hapless passerby. People, what does it take to prune those trees and shrubs – 10 minutes a year, maybe? If you see a branch going in the wrong direction, remove it completely; it’s that simple. Plants on people’s own property encroach so egregiously over sidewalks around here that I’m afraid to suggest to the average boob they add them to their right-of-way. Readers here would never do that, so plant away. For the clueless and inconsiderate boobs of my town, my next column in the local paper is a rant about this and other threats to walkability. As if they’ll ever read it.
Given the chain link fence surrounding my front yard
when I bought it and the abundance of more pressing places to spend my
money, I decided to keep it but cover it with the ivy growing along it,
a solution that cost me nothing but time. Suburban planners have
traditionally deemed fences around front yards to be unneighborly but
on the contrary! Mine keeps me from having to scream at kids who would
otherwise run through my garden and at dog owners who would surely let
their dogs crap in it. So like the familiar adage says, the fence
lets us be better neighbors. And though people passing by in cars
can’t see my front garden, people walking by can.
Front porches are the friendliest little pieces of real
estate ever created. While I spend lots of time on the very private deck off the back of the
house, porch-sitting is what I do when I want to say hi and watch
kids playing. Feels like the very essence of neighborliness,
second only to paying social calls on new arrivals, casserole in hand. Like I’d ever bake a casserole.