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Manteca orders yard of Golden Poppies abated
yard poppies
The City of Manteca has ruled that front yard full of California’s state flower must be abated or the homeowner will be fined.

It's widely known as the Golden Poppy  —  Eschscholtzia california.

It is also California's state flower, and has many admirers. One of them is KT Jarnagin of Manteca.

She loves the Copa de Oro (Cup of Gold), also known as the Flame Flower, so much she has a carpet of them instead of the more common green lawn in front of her house in a neighborhood east of Sierra High.

There's just one problem: the City of Manteca does not share the sentiment. Nor the belief about what would, or should, constitute a front yard.

And that prompted the city to send her a citation — a courtesy notice at this point — telling her to "remove (the) weeds." The notice gave her until May 29 to do so.

There was "no mention of a fine if I don't take care of the problem," said the longtime Manteca resident.

The city’s protocol calls for a warning initially and if weeds aren’t abated by a follow up inspection a fine is threatened. If that doesn’t work the city hires a contractor to abate the weeds and slap a fine against the property to recover costs.

She didn't start out to have a poppy lawn in the first place; she didn't plant them.

"They came up by themselves. My yard was open dirt. They usually die out by the end of the month," she explained on her Facebook page. Her post was accompanied by a picture of her colorful front yard with the thriving, blooming golden poppies which friends described as "beautiful!" and "pretty!"

"So pretty!" That is one of the stupidest citations I (have) ever heard of," stated one comment.

"Apparently someone needs to educate them (the city) on the difference between a weed & a flower," stated another.

However, "they're weeds to the weed abatement department," Jarnagin responded.

A message left in a telephone call to the Manteca Weed Abatement department mid-afternoon on Monday asking for a comment was not immediately returned.

Jarnagin said she has not heard anything else from the city after receipt of the notice a few days ago.

The Golden Poppy belongs to the Papaveraceae family and grows wild throughout California. It became the state flower in 1903.