Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dateline--PORTSMOUTH (NH)---Specifically about 50 yards behind my house.

It's not every day that your home town makes national news.  It's even more rare when it's your neighborhood.  But a tiny flower garden a stone's throw from my back yard is making national news.  Yes, I said flower garden. 

We walk our dogs down Albacore Way all the time, but I never noticed anything out of the ordinary. When I heard the news reports of the dispute, I went to specifically look for the offending garden... and I still didn't see anything.  I had to ask a neighbor which house it was.  I looked.  I still didn't see anything worthy of any sort of scandal.

Before social media made going viral a buzzword, the same thing would happen with news stories, and it still does.  Local stories can make headlines in their own cities and towns, then the next day it's literally yesterday's news and is replaced with a new headline.  But if a story catches the eye of a wire services editor, it can quickly make news anywhere and everywhere, building buzz and attracting ongoing attention of the public.  This is a story that is said to "have legs."  Once this garden scandal took off, it hit he Huffington Post, MSN, the Boston Herald, Boston.com, Yahoo, America Online, Newser, the Portland Press Herald, New England Cable News, and various other news outlets. Here are a few more examples of stories this garden has garnered:

Flowers Prompt $13000 Condo Lawsuit: ABC News

Please Don't Plant the Daisies - or We'll Sue: Reuters

New Hampshire woman faces legal action, fines for planting flowers at condominium: Fox News

Amazing, isn't it? 

I noticed that when I went by one day, the condo association's hired hands were landscaping around all the buildings.  Every spot was being watered, mulched, planted, and weeded... except one little spot.  Guess which one!  I asked one of the landscapers and they admitted their instructions, when it comes to this particular flower patch, are to just "work around it."