HOAs can be a common obstacle to maintaining a garden, with many creating strict rules about the types of plants residents are permitted to grow.
Homeowners can face steep fines, like the Redditor who recently posted about being penalized for a garden just four inches too wide. Or they may even be asked to remove the plants entirely, like another avid gardener whose son shared her story online.
This Redditor says they spent six years putting together a garden that could be certified by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia as a wildlife sanctuary under the Audubon at Home program. This program grants protections to garden areas that qualify as bird habitats, with the appropriate native plants in place.
The poster shares a picture of a beautiful patch of wilderness, with a garden path and a door visible in the background. The planters in front are full of carnivorous pitcher plants, and surrounded by clover and black-eyed Susans.
In the foreground, a small sign marks the area as an Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary. “It’s been a little back and forth with my HOA,” the original poster shares, “but as long as I keep things mowed and tidy, they don’t give me a hard time about my native plants.”
Another commenter asks, “Where did you get this sign?”
The original poster outlines the process, writing, “You have to have your garden certified by the master gardeners and Audubon Society to get the sign. This program is available in a few counties in Virginia, and I know other states have similar programs … I had to show the master gardeners and Audubon Society that my garden provides habitat, food, and water for native birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.”
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