Westbury woman fighting city to retain extensive garden

HOUSTON – Margaret Mitchell has been a gardener for many years, and the garden she has created over three-and-a-half years at her home in Westbury has become a patch of flowers, plants, and fruit that draw quite a few admirers from the animal kingdom.

But one of Mitchell's human neighbors apparently was not impressed and phoned the city of Houston about what they believe is an eyesore.

Mitchell said the city issued her a notice of violation in March deeming her front yard -- her beloved garden -- a nuisance.

She said they originally gave her a few days to cut down everything to no more than 9 inches high.

When she refused, she said she was told city workers would do it for her.

PHOTOS: Nuisance garden in Westbury

"The city says, especially since part of my yard is on the easement, that they have the absolute right to come and cut down my yard," Mitchell said. "To do anything to my yard at any time, for any reason."

That led Mitchell to file a restraining order against several parties -- including Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The restraining order has been denied, but Mitchell isn't ready to give up on her garden just yet.

"To me, my garden is a symbolic expression of my political views about the earth," Mitchell said. "I am trying to communicate my views about the earth and nature through my garden."

Mitchell is hoping an injunction will stop the city from any plans to cut down her garden.

Channel 2 reached out to the city attorney for comment but has not received a response.

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