Controversial Eastlake garden will get a trim

The war of the roses may be nearing an end.

An Eastlake garden that drew a complaint and the interest of the City of Seattle’s zoning department will be trimmed to comply with city rules.

Mary Hansen, who owns the garden at the corner of E. Lynn and Minor E., met Wednesday afternoon with Tom Braderick, a city zoning inspector, and other city personnel (KOMO TV even came by) to see what she’d have to do to bring her colorful corner into compliance.

The complaint alleged that the height of her plants had created a line-of-sight issue at the busy corner. City rules require that all plantings within 30 feet of a corner be no higher than 24 inches.

In KOMO’s report, Braderick says the problem isn’t the flowers:

“We find this a very beautiful corner. What we do take issue with is any dangerous situation that is created with your green thumb.”

The verdict? Roses along the street needed to be trimmed as did roses and some other plants hanging over the sidewalk and the street.

Hansen says that pruning has been done and she’ll be doing some more. She’ll be meeting with Braderick again in a few days to see if her work has brought the garden into compliance.

When I stopped by last night, the roses had definitely been trimmed and the message board Hansen had put up asking passersby to sign a letter of support had been removed.

To see our previous coverage of the controversy, click here.

And here’s the video report KOMO aired:

5 thoughts on “Controversial Eastlake garden will get a trim

  1. Brooke

    I walk by your flowers a few times a week with my dog and I absolutely love what you’ve done. It always brings a smile to my face to see the beautiful flowers, so wonderfully cared for. A garden is such a perfect use for the strip of grass that is so often forgotten on the other side of the sidewalk. I even have to pull the dog away because he loves the smells (and bees too!). Anyway, thanks for being a good neighbor who desires to enrich the lives of strangers with colorful flowers.

  2. Karen

    As an advocate of parking strip gardening, I am saddened that someone’s efforts to beautify her neighborhood and enhance the lives of passers-by would have to be curtailed by the complaints of a grumpy few. I hope her garden recovers and that she continues to offer something worthwhile here instead of becoming discouraged.

    Thanks for reporting this story!

  3. Matt

    While most of us (maybe close to 100%) appreciate well kept gardens and plantings that beautify our neighborhoods, it is also imperative to keep corner properties from impeding the line of sight.
    Nice job on the flowers, but there does need to be some more responsible trimming on this corner.

  4. Dan

    I live in Eastlake and love the garden —truly amazing! It brings a lot of joy to the owner and the entire neighborhood, more people should follow her example. Her garden clearly deserves her recent accolades in the Seattle Times magazine.

    However, safety is equally important and the neighborhood has had a number of bad accidents with the many intersections without stop or yield signs. The sight lines need to be maintained. Sadly, that means trimming her beautiful plants just while they are blooming.

    I look forward to many more years of her beautiful plantings!

    Thank you!

  5. yaler

    Did you read the articles? The zoning that is in place is for safety. Also she will not have to remove her plantings. She can trim them to the 24″ height limitation.

    Mary is a very talented and creative person. I’m sure she will be able to use her talent to create a wonderful garden in these parking strips and comply to the zoning limitations.

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