Proposed law flies in the face of the world’s master landscape designers

To the Editor:
Thank you so much for covering the proposed local law on property maintenance in the town of New Scotland [“New Scotland looks to police residents’ lawns, trash,” The Altamont Enterprise, July 18, 2022]. It was also reassuring to read your editorial on lawns wanting to be meadows [“Your lawn would really rather be a meadow,” June 22, 2022] as well as Joan McKeon’s letter to the editor [“Bring back the beautiful native insects, birds, and mammals that our lawns usurped,” July 20, 2022].

This law is so stunningly backwards, flying in the face of the world’s master landscape designers, it beggars belief. This year’s Best in Show at the Chelsea Garden Show in the United Kingdom, looks like hundreds of local gardens in our community, yet according to this law they are slated to be fined and made illegal. The Highline in New York City by Piet Oudoulf, would also be a code violation.

The monumental stupidity of the proposed law cannot be overstated. It is the exact opposite of all expert opinion about gardens today, which is aimed at allowing our gardens to become more natural, to “rewild” as they are calling it.

The ridiculousness of the law is also fully shown by the current demonstration gardens at the Cornell Cooperative Extension on Martin Road. The naturalized areas are growing above the 4 feet noted in the law and one garden is even called The Elephant Grass garden. Oops.

There are further quite serious issues in the law related to not being allowed to use recycled materials and only using new materials which should also be addressed. Have any of the folks proposing this law walked down a lumber aisle lately? Prices are positively astounding. Reusing lumber is just common sense. Has the town board lost theirs?

Here is a link to the Best in Show Garden. When I saw it I was delighted to see it looks just like my backyard, including beavers:

All this shows me just how incredibly fortunate we are here in our upstate towns to live in such extraordinary natural beauty. Thank you for all you have done to preserve it. 

Marsha Carlson

New Scotland

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