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Homeowner devises clever scheme to bypass their HOA's ridiculous garden ban: 'Sounds like a declaration of war'

"Gather defectors and mutiny."

"Gather defectors and mutiny."

Photo Credit: iStock

A frustrated homeowner recently posted on Reddit in the r/vegetablegardening subreddit about how they're skirting their homeowner association's nitpicky garden rules.

HOAs are infamous for dictating what homeowners can and can't do with their property. While some are reasonable, others prevent money-saving, eco-friendly upgrades like solar panels or place unnecessary restrictions on gardening.

Decorative plants
Photo Credit: u/_Mr_Jay_ / Reddit

In this case, the rule was no food gardens, according to the homeowner. 

"The HOA said decorative plants are allowed, but 'ABSOLUTELY NO GARDENS,'" they explained.

That's a frustrating rule, given the incredible health and environmental benefits of gardening. People who garden not only get significantly more exercise on average, but they also get more dietary fiber by eating their crops — which is great for digestion. Plus, all that time outside and the satisfaction of growing something is good for mental health.

Gardens are good for the Earth, too, as Green Matters explains. The plants provide oxygen, remove heat-trapping gases from the air, gradually make the soil healthier over time, and support pollinators — all while reducing the need to buy produce that gets shipped via polluting trucks and trains.

Since the HOA didn't seem to care about those benefits, this Redditor said they took matters into their own hands. "Okay, I have three 'decorative plants,'" they said. "Two tomatoes and one bell pepper."

They then included a photo of their "decorative plants," which were simply the three ordinary garden plants in separate pots. Tucked behind a screen as they were, they'd be difficult to tell apart from any other potted plant.

"Sounds like a declaration of war," one commenter wrote of the unreasonable rule. "Gather defectors and mutiny [against] the HOA president."

While they said it as a joke, it's actually a valid strategy to work within the HOA's system, as another user laid out. 

"Run for election to your local HOA," they suggested. "Clean up the waste and corruption inside your HOA. Become elected as chairperson of the HOA. Then abolish your HOA. Then you can have as big a garden as you want."

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