Dear Neighbors: Stop Putting Toxins on Your Yard-It’s So Gross!


Montanans can’t wait for spring. Every year it’s the same story-once the weather gets up to 48 degrees a good portion of MT residents begin wearing shorts.

Mr. robin redbreast is a sure sign that spring has arrived but the blooming lilacs are by far the most invigorating sign that in fact ‘spring has sprung’. In my neighborhood, there are three different varieties of lilac trees (some folks call them bushes but they look like trees to me). And anything too high for me to stop and whiff is a tree. Thankfully some of the lilacs are closer to my height and so I will walk for blocks just sniffing and taking in the wafting aroma. At any rate, there are deep purple, lighter purple, and white lilacs.

By far the most fragrant of the three is the lighter purple variety. The white and purple are nice too but the other scent you could bottle up and store in your pocket.

You might be wondering by now what does this have to do with toxic yards? Well I thought I would spare you the ‘grossness’ with a little ‘cheeriness’ first.

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While perusing and wandering through the neighborhood today the air was so fresh, so crisp, clear, and clean-until it wasn’t.

Literally, the second I got past one neighbor’s house and approached the next one’s it smelled like a combination of bleach and chemicals. I was seriously afraid to walk even one step further then turned around and hustled out of there as fast as my little legs would take me.

Finally I arrived closer to home and walked toward the top of the hill which headed down to the nearby duck pond. And then unexpectedly there it was again (albeit fainter this time). That smell.

At this point I went back turned the corner took one more inhalation of the none toxic neighbors light purple lilac tree (bush) then scurried home.

About a month ago those little horrid signs started popping up in random yards around the neighborhood (thankfully there were only a few).


I don’t truly know what all it’s composed of but I tell my grandchildren it’s poisonous and they don’t step one foot in the neighbors’ yards. (It may be just a fertilizer but the fact that no dandelions come up in these yards makes me awfully suspicious).

A bit earlier in the season, the Round-Up comes out and that’s really toxic (and horribly smelly).

Our neighborhood is a bit like a checkerboard quilt. Some yards are perfectly green void of even one dandelion. Others have partial dandelions and are a bit browner, some are FULL of weeds and dandelions. I say give me the dandelions where my grandchildren can pick them, make crowns and necklaces and blow the dried ones to the wind.

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