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Homeowner weary of HOA's complaints seeks advice on how to get a 'certified native garden': '[They] may start to harass us again'

"The most common advice here is to use an edger to delineate the boundaries of the native plant garden."

"The most common advice here is to use an edger to delineate the boundaries of the native plant garden."

Photo Credit: iStock

Have you ever received a notice from your homeowners' association about the state of your garden? You're not alone. A recent social media post from Southwest Ohio has sparked a heated debate about homeowners' rights and environmental responsibility.

The post, shared by a frustrated homeowner, highlights their ongoing battle with the HOA over their native plant garden. Despite their efforts to cultivate a garden that supports local ecosystems, they continue to receive notices branding it as "unsightly." 

Native plant gardening offers numerous benefits, including promoting biodiversity, conserving water, and providing habitats for pollinators

Since they're adapted to the local climate, soil, and wildlife, they require less water and fewer pesticides, which is a win for both your wallet and the environment. Native gardens are also a magnet for a variety of wildlife. By planting native species, you're setting up a buffet for local pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds, who rely on these plants for food and shelter. This not only helps to keep the pollinator populations healthy but also supports the entire food web.

In the post, the homeowner seeks advice on how to deal with their HOA, suggesting that a certification for their garden may help.

"My wife told him that it is a certified native garden. Is there a way to actually get a certification for something like that?" asked the homeowner. "The HOA manager is petty and may start to harass us again if there is a board change."

Many Redditors chimed in to share their knowledge. 

"Your local botanical garden or arboretum may also be able to give you that designation. Ours has informational signs you can post in your yard too!" one commented.

Another suggested: "The most common advice here is to use an edger to delineate the boundaries of the native plant garden and create at least one footpath. It helps people not in the know reconceptualize your yard as something deliberately cultivated."

A longer-term solution may be to work to change HOA bylaws. Changing HOA bylaws can be a journey, but it's one that can lead to significant improvements in your community, especially when implementing more climate-friendly practices. 

Be prepared to make a compelling case for why these changes are beneficial for the community and the environment. It's important to note that amending bylaws often requires a vote with a certain percentage of approval from the homeowners, so rallying the community and effectively communicating the value of your proposals will be key to your success.

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