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 Go Native, Get a Violation

 
The first thing that I did when I bought my house in the City of Pittsburgh 15 years ago was tear out the hideous privet (Lingustrum vulgare) hedges and boring dandelion-choked “lawn” in front of my home. My neighbors were initially appalled. By summer when plants were in full bloom, they still thought I was a bit strange, but did have to admit that they did like the “pretty flowers” in my garden. They started to complement me on it, and began asking what particular flowers were in bloom.

My garden was a shocking contrast to the vacant lot next to it. It was the typical long-neglected lot, an eyesore that had been used as a middle of the night dumping ground for tires, shingles, concrete and miscellaneous debris, including being the spot for local dogs to drop their loads. It also was overgrown with invasive plants such as Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), Garlic Mustard (Allaria petiolata), Privet, and exotic bush honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.).

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