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The Helpful Gardeners | Ep51 | Garden Crime – What you Need to Know

Welcome back to the Helpful Gardeners Podcast. This week, the gardeners unearth some interesting, and perhaps shocking, garden laws that you should be aware of as we head into the 2024 growing season.


  • 00:00 Garden Crime Radio Play
  • 03:55 Trees & Shrubs & the Neighbours
  • 14:45 Lemonade Stands?!
  • 16:01 Cutting Grass Curfew
  • 17:17 Clothesline Drama
  • 18:19 Park out front
  • 20:15 Backyard Chickens
  • 21:45 Calgary Bylaws – Price is Right
  • 32:00 Hypothetical Question of the Week

Garden Crime Radio Play

What did you think about the first ever Golden Acre Home & Garden radio play?! It featured voices from a few members of the team including Brian, Diane, Dan, and Sydney. Of course, you may have recognized the voices of Brandi and Colin, hosts of the Helpful Gardeners podcast.

In the world of botanical crime, every leaf tells a story and every petal hides a clue. Detectives Bloom and Basil uncover the culprit behind the destruction of a prized rose garden ahead of the famous Flower Power Festival.


  1. Lemonade Stand | Some bylaws specify that they be licensed since they’re selling a product consumed by humans. While it’s socially acceptable for a 10 year old to put up shop on a hot summer day, there have been cases where stands have been reported.
  2. Cutting Grass Curfew | Noise bylaws exist across the country. In Alberta, you can make noise, like cutting the grass, until 10pm.  In Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC, states that on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays after 4 PM!
  3. Hanging LaundryMississauga, ON | One clothesline is allowed per home as per the Clothesline By-law. An extra one is allowed for homes with second units. Clotheslines must in the back yard, at least 1.25 metres from all property lines and maximum three metres high.
  4. ParkingRegina, SK | Parking on your front lawn is prohibited, In 2019, the city said they received around 300 complaints for this.  The regulation is subject to prosecution with fines ranging from $250.
  5. Backyard Chickens | Calgary, AB | You must be 18+ and you must follow a number of rules including number of hens, structure size, and health plan.


  1. Composting | FINE: $75 | Allowed as long as it doesn’t: Create offensive odours or attract pests. You must not place or allow to be placed cat feces, dog feces, animal parts or animal meat on a composting pile or in a composting container on the premises.
  2. Refrigerator | FINE: $250 | Refrigerators and freezers must have hinges and latches, or lids and doors removed before they can be stored outside. Appliances must be kept out of public view when stored outside.
  3. Fire Hydrant | FINE $160 | Obstructions such as hedges, shrubs, trees, fences and the accumulation of materials are not permitted near the hydrant. Keep 2 meters clear.
  4. Gafitti | FINE $150 | for not removing, $5000 for applying it | includes words, figures, letters, drawings or stickers applied, scribbled, scratched, etched, sprayed or attached on or to a public surface.
  5. Snow Removal | FINE $250 and up | Owners/occupants must remove snow within 24hrs of snowfall. If they don’t, The city will bill you $150 for clearing it on your behalf. That amount will be added to your annual property tax bill if not paid.
  6. Building maintenance | FINE: $200 | balconies, decks, porches, stairs must be free of significant damage, peeling surfaces, broken, missing, rot, lack of general maintenance.
  7. trees and shrubs | FINE $250 | Public Property – You can’t prune, attach objects, or spray them without permission. Private Property – Bunch of guidelines for hedges, plants impeding sidewalks, even grass height.
  8. Weeds | FINE 400 | Must ensure noxious weeds are under control and does not spread. A Dandelion is no longer considered a noxious weed

r/funny - Steal our fruit, will you?!

Hypothetical Question of the Week….

What is a “garden crime” in your books?

Colour clashing, lawn flamingos, blowing all your leaves onto the road, etc. 



Thank you so much for supporting our podcast and for making the world a more planty place. Please subscribe, leave a rating or review and listen in for new gardening discussions every week!

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