The Wildflower Wars

<p>A dazzling wildflower season spells trouble for master-planned communities across the West.</p>
May 16, 2008, 10am PDT | sbuntin
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How are the wildflower wars being waged, and why is it important to have natural yards in cities, anyway?

"In Civano, it's common to see yards bursting with the golds, whites, and brilliant pinks of desert wildflowers like brittlebush, chicory, and penstemon. It's common, too, for residents to let the annuals fade and go to seed, hoping for another showy display the following year (pending our undependable rains). As the author Joseph Wood Krutch has said, wildflowers of the arid West "riot briefly and then lie low." Ah, but what a riot it can be."

"There has been another kind of flash this season, too - the mailing of nearly 200 "weed cards," postcards noting that a troupe of CC&R committee members found the homeowner's yard to be in violation. The general culprit: weeds. Another possibility: a shabby yard. The bottom line: though Civano's landscape guidelines provide for a wide variety of native flowers, the legally-binding covenants, codes, and restrictions reign in the less manicured yards."

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Published on Thursday, May 15, 2008 in The Next American City
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