One Person's Treasure Is Another Person's Potty!

nancy_drew(5 nw chgo burbs)June 9, 2009

One person's planter is another one's potty

Lakemoor woman's use of toilet for landscaping has neighbors, village up in arms

One person's garbage can be another's treasure, but can a commode be an "artsy planter"?

Tina Asmus said the village of Lakemoor and some neighbors on Highland Drive are pushing her to remove the front yard "art piece planters" she created using a couple of old toilets and a pedestal sink.

"I'm very creative, artsy and crafty in this regard and I like to find old things that I can recycle and repurpose," she said. "I saw a friend who made a planter out of an old toilet once and I loved it, so last year, I made one for myself."

However, Mayor Todd Weihoffen said he stands behind police who have given Asmus 30 days to remove the toilets from her front yard.

Weihoffen, a plumber by trade, said all he sees on the front lawn of Asmus' home are a couple of "old plumbing fixtures" that should be removed.

"I was elected mayor because voters want the town cleaned up," he said. "If I do not enforce the ordinances about this, then anyone with some junk in their yard can stick a flower on it and call it art."

A quick Internet search will show making a planter out of a toilet isn't a new idea. However, that carries no weight with village officials who say Asmus faces a fine of $25 to $500 starting June 15 if she doesn't comply.

Asmus said she will not remove her "art pieces," adding each toilet planter costs about $100 to make and holds an assortment of daisies, angel's breath, lilies and other flowers.

"My yard is neat and clean and this definitely catches the eye of some people and makes them smile," she said. "It's different. I like different."

The toilet planters have smiley faces on them, and one bears the words "I love my neighbors".

Weihoffen said the writing was less complimentary - recently it said "Beware of neighbors" - and the front yard wasn't as well-maintained when officers issued the compliance ticket.

"This yard has become manicured relatively quick, specifically since the media started calling," he said.

Asmus argues her yard has always been well maintained. She said has had the toilet planter for two years, and she likes it because it "makes people laugh."

"I should be allowed to put out whatever kind of planter I want as long as it's not obscene," she said. "And, this isn't obscene."


Hey! I want one of those potty planters! I have a few plants that I set aside for the water fountain at the pool, it's been broken for a while.

There is a picture of Tina's garden in front of her home, I think it could be so much worse... I'm glad she hasn't buckled... as far as I'm concerned, it's no longer a toilet if you can no longer flush it!!

Here is a link that might be useful: The Daily Herald

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could be worse, at least she isnt "using" the front yard.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 5:29PM
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nancy_drew(5 nw chgo burbs)

I would have to paint a mural on mine. That might disguise it a bit from a distance, but then there would be a surprise as you walked closer and discovered what it was.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 7:19PM
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I looked at the picture, it would probably bee less "offensive" is she planted some taller things around it to, you know, disguise it a little, that it owuld take you longer and have to be closer up to know what it is.

Its a little too much potty and not enough flowers.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 8:55AM
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As long as she's not breaking any health codes, homeowners soceity rules or any restrictions in the contract that she signed when she bought the house, I say let them stay. I personally don't like them but if she does then who am I to say anything. If she's going to keep them, she needs to remove the garden hose hanger and put a urinal there to complete the ensemble. She can hang her hose there. No pun intended.
My son is into BMX so I'm posting a pic of what's in my front yard. This ramp is about 30 feet from the road so you can't miss it but nobody has said anything.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 8:39AM
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nancy_drew(5 nw chgo burbs)

Love it Jim! My son had a 3 piece set that we used to put up in the walking path, (asphalt) that surrounds a huge courtyard in our condo complex. It was heavy duty plastic and easy to move when the kids weren't using it. Every kid in the complex with a bike or a skateboard took turns on that thing! I don't ever remember a complaint... I guess as long it kept the kids outside, and getting some good exercise, all was well.

As far as the potty, yeah it is a bit out there and in need some kind of disguise. I would have more flowers, something kind of trailing out of both the bowl and the tank would be nice. I like the planter though! It's also recycling and that's always a good thing, isn't it?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 7:18PM
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stage_rat(5--Indiana Riviera)

Hey, there are significant precedents to this type of garden "art"! Hemingway grabbed a used urinal and put it in his yard (horizontally) for watering his cat collection. (At his home in key West)

When I was a teenager, I planted a toilet tank with flowers. I wonder if I have a spot for that in my yard now--it just looks like a nice but odd rectangular urn when it's filled in.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 12:58PM
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