In April, one user posted on Reddit to mourn the destruction of the native plant garden they created at the apartment they’d lived in for 10 years.
The post appeared on r/NativePlantGardening, a subreddit for gardeners growing plants from their local area. Depending on the location, the subreddit says it can include “rain gardens, pollinator gardens, xeriscaping, and forests alike” — all with a focus on plants that are adapted to the climate and support native wildlife.
The original poster is one of these dedicated gardeners.
“At my old apartment, where I lived for 10 years, I planted a pollinator garden with 13 species of natives,” they said in the post. “I was absolutely in love with it. I spent many afternoons sitting on my porch just staring at it, watching the hummingbirds and insects come and go.”
The post includes photos of a tidy garden in planters along the front of a porch. Almost a dozen close-ups feature insects visiting the various blossoms.
“I saw at least six different kinds of bees visit, plus wasps, flies, beetles, and butterflies,” the user added.
But sadly, the post has a tragic ending.
“A mega-conglomerate realty company bought the building and forced me to move out,” the original poster said. When they returned to pick up a package, they made a horrible discovery. “They tore my whole garden right out of the ground and covered the area with grass seed.”
Tenants creating eco-friendly gardens often face an uphill battle against landlords and HOAs. There are some options to protect native plants, but homeowners may have to take the issue to court — and when they’re no longer there to protect their garden, the next owner can do as they like with the space.
The poster is devastated by the loss of their plants.
“It hurt so much to see, I cried like someone had died,” they said.
Other users were quick to offer comfort.
“My heart breaks for you, that hurts so much,” one commenter wrote. “You did a beautiful thing, and I see it.”
Another user offered advice for tenants in similar situations: “This is why I’m digging out a few of my plants since I just moved. Some will go to the neighborhood pollinator garden that has a whole team of neighbors maintaining it, some are coming to my new house.”
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.