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Homeowner finds clever way to push back against HOA's frustratingly strict lawn rules: 'They got mad at me this year'

"I'm looking for something low-growing and inconspicuous."

Native grasses in the lawn, lawn rules

Photo Credit: iStock

Across the U.S., more and more environmentally conscious homeowners are attempting to "rewild" their yards, removing space-wasting and water-guzzling lawns to plant native grasses and flowers. 

But many HOAs stand in the way with rules that limit the height of grass or specify the kinds of plants that owners can grow. Some homeowners have pushed back against these restrictions, like the Maryland couple who helped change state law. Others have turned to online communities for help skirting the rules.

Now, one Redditor hopes to push the limits of their HOA's restrictive lawn rules by planting their own native ground cover.

"My HOA bylaws say 25% of my lawn can be weeds/clover," a Virginia-based user wrote in the r/NativePlantGardening subreddit. "Help me find a native ground cover that can pass as clover/weeds."

The comments section reveals that the original poster is already pushing their HOA's limits. One user suggested planting wildflowers, but the original poster replied, "They got mad at me this year for the wildflowers in my lawn, so that's a no-go. I'm looking for something low-growing and inconspicuous." 

Another commenter said, "I would try larger shrubby plants … Those look more like traditional landscaping." 

But the original poster said they already have more traditional plants, like violets, ferns, and irises, and are not allowed to reduce the lawn area any further. Instead, they need ground cover less than 4 inches tall.

"Would potted plants or raised beds get around this restriction?" asked another commenter, to which the original poster replied, "I have a five-container bog garden which is the maximum amount of containers I'm allowed."

In frustration, one user said, "This is why [I] will never [live] in an hoa."

Despite this, commenters did find several solutions. 

Multiple comments mentioned nimblewill, while another asked, "Have you checked out green-and-gold?" 

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