Your letters, July 2

July 1, 2014 

Splendor in the grass

Durham City Hall wants everyone to cut their grass regularly. That has been a standard of caring for property for decades and is thought to reduce the risk of sheltering “vermin.” Thanks for posting this article under Briefly page 3, June 25.

I respond because these last few years, I have let my grass and weeds grow, flower and set seed to improve the eco system’s soil, biodiversity, and as forage for the bees I keep. I made this decision in spite of feeling guilty for the unsightly appearance. There was soul searching involved in the plan.

Now it is pointed out to me that my rights as a property owner threaten public health concerns.

Neighborhood appearances do contribute to property value and if this were a problem where I live, it might be reason to change my ways. The rationale was that I would improve the property in other ways, planting vegetables, flowers, blueberries and an apple tree. The cats would keep down the rodents. Mosquitoes breed in the standing pools along Tributary Z which runs behind our house, but aren’t encouraged by tall grass.

Another benefit of letting the grass go, is my opportunity to observe native and non native vegetation and to selectively encourage beneficial species. Monoculture of grass may suit some but not every taste. Tall grass invites and provides for more life, enriching the human spirit.

Thanks for a well writen newspaper.

Anne Whitefield

Durham

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