UPDATE: why am i putting this at the beginning of the post? because i want you to SEE IT! this is what happened- a HAPPY RESULT- HURRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you to everyone who so wonderfully stepped up and contacted the city on anne’s behalf- here is her update, and then you can read her story- awesome news- congrats, anne!
Alert! Case closed! As of 2 pm today, city inspector found our yard (after some heroic help) to be substantially in compliance. Thank you for your kind attention and help. It was indeed a neighborly complaint that got this process started, not municipal greed or political retribution. I am not sure if one of you dear ones got the needed information to the inspector before I did, but he knew more about the circumstances than I had told him. He was most gracious and neighborly in his visit today.

(here is the text of the original post, in case you missed it):

well, this time it isn’t me, but it is a long-time follower of the blog, and as in so many similar cases, it is happening to someone who was just trying to live her life and mind her own business. you can read her story below, which she put up on the comment section of another post, and then you can ruminate on the fact that she is being charged with a “public health menace charge”. she is asking her city officials to give her more time to clean up in her yard (and i think we should ask them to also give her a break as far as costly fines and repairs she will have to make. i am wondering here if they might even be able to ASSIST her rather than attempting to PUNISH her…). you can read her circumstances below and see what you think is appropriate to do. perhaps you will find some time to send a quick (respectful) email or make a phone call tomorrow to her city gov’t. and don’t forget to send some encouraging words anne’s way as well. it’s a lonely thing to be at the wrong end of the long arm of the law… sigh…

from anne:
Hi! I have been following, first your story, then your blog, from the time they came for your garden. Now they have come for mine, with a definitely different twist. My garden had no helpers to put it together, and it never got very productive, and it never got polished or finished. My garden wasn’t in the front yard (alone). It was in the backyard, mostly, except for a pretty little front yard corner of blueberries and strawberries set off with daffodils, day-lilies, and turmeric, along with luxuriant growth of St. Augustine grass (which would die if cut shorter than 3 inches), with pockets of various ground covers, clovers, vetches, etc., which rebuild chemically exhausted or burned lawns. It has a few scraggly little zinnias to greet passersby. Some little pine trees are about to make it out of the danger size for tiny trees and monster mowers. My backyard, ostensibly hidden behind a six-foot board fence was not so neat though. It grew a profusion of sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, azuretum, grain grasses, garden herbs, greens, onions, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes, with some mostly failed attempts at squashes, peppers, okra, and eggplants, and a single mostly successful artichoke, water chestnuts, and a goldfish pond, with water filter/fall and purslane. I was almost keeping up with the chickens and kitties, almost keeping the grass cut around the most magnificent thistles ever seen. My yard had been known to host a garden snake, with occasional forays by a raccoon (who killed all thirteen chickens) deer, hawks, owls, purple finches (who love thistle seeds), woodpeckers, prothonotary warblers, pine warblers, mockingbirds, hummingbirds, brown thrashers, purple martins, cardinals, cedar waxwings, golden flags, purple flags, pink wild gladiolas, and amazing tiny flowers I can’t name. In spite of the four cats, a rat was indeed seen near the beehive. And now my wildlife preserve in the middle of astroturf village is under threat of criminal charges and $1,500 in fines and subject to surprise inspections for a year. K, so maybe I deserve it, since tornadoes and microbursts have destroyed my garden shed and a hidden fence across the backyard. Even though I needed to be with my beloved husband in four different medical facilities between 16 and 24 hours a day for most of the past six months, I still came home long enough to cut the front yard grass every week or two. And in a city known for burglaries, drug deals, kidnappings and murders, the community standards are in danger because of my uncontrolled forays into wildlife habitat and gardening for people and animals. Court date is Oct. 7. We received the notice the day that he came home from residential stroke rehabilitation, just before he re-entered the hospital for moderate to severe dehydration. My dear husband, wheelchair bound and practically mute, has been quietly sitting today as I cut grass, blew leaves, and cleaned up the patio. I hope first that he doesn’t suffer anymore wheelchair falls while I work to avoid the fines. I am also hoping to rescue my hobbies of gardening and all that goes with it. A little bit of real freedom, property rights, and tolerance for the natural order of things would surely be appreciated too.

Anne McLeod annelark at bellsouth.net

here is the contact info for her city:

Jackson, MS
219 South President Street
Jackson, MS 39205