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Homeowner seeks advice on lawn renovation that appeases their HOA: 'I'm not in their good graces right now'

"I need less grass in my life, so this is my plan."

"I need less grass in my life, so this is my plan."

Photo Credit: iStock

One Virginia homeowner reached out to the online community for help planning a native plant garden for the difficult conditions in their yard.

They took their request to the r/NoLawns subreddit — although, according to them, they were forced to keep some of their grass. 

"I cannot go full 'no lawn' because of our HOA," they explained. "However, I need less grass in my life, so this is my plan."

"I need less grass in my life, so this is my plan."
Photo Credit: Reddit

They shared a sketch of their yard, with color-coded circles and blobs for the different kinds of plants they intended to grow. Their map shows a curved driveway leading from a gate to the house, with the intended garden area split up on either side. The photo also includes a list of nineteen native plant species they wanted to use.

"What I want from my garden," they said. "Semi easy to maintain, got to have the butterflies … [and] bunnies! [And] help with my excessive water problem."

The right design using native plants can meet all these needs and more. Native species are low-maintenance and rarely need to be watered because they've adapted to the weather in the area already. They fit into the local ecosystem, providing food and shelter for wildlife like pollinators and small animals, which will often be attracted to yards that have them.

Best of all, you can use deep-rooted and water-loving plants to create a rain garden in muddy, low-lying areas of your yard. Rain gardens help the ground absorb excess water instead of letting it pool or flow away, and they make use of the moisture to grow lush, beautiful plants on that spot.

Unfortunately, many HOAs are against native plant gardens and other money-saving, eco-friendly home upgrades. Some HOA residents have to change the rules to install rain gardens and native plants as they prefer.

However, this Redditor intended to move forward with the new garden. "I specifically picked plants that are most tolerable of those constantly wet conditions," they said.

Still, there were limits to what they could do.

"I'm curious, can you do full clover on the rest?" asked one commenter.

"I cannot, at least not without [HOA] approval, but I'm not in their good graces right now," the original poster replied. "We just moved into this house maybe two months ago and we are getting letters nonstop for power washing."

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