Community tells man, 83, he can't have backyard garden

Published On: Feb 04 2013 04:50:47 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 05 2013 10:19:39 AM EST

Backyard gardens can sometimes get out of control, but one Orange County man's small vegetable garden has his homeowner's association threatening to remove it.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -

Backyard gardens can sometimes get out of control, but one Orange County man's small vegetable garden has his property's management hreatening to remove it.

Henry Canada, 83, has had the garden for almost a year, but on Monday he got a letter giving him 30 days to take it down. The rules that govern Fairways Country Club are direct and simple, and Canada's daughter, whom he lives with, signed them.

But Bonnie Buyea said when she bought the house, she specifically asked about an exception for her dad. Buyea says the realtor told her a veggie garden would be OK if it was above ground.

Buyea's husband built a small garden in raised planters and no one has given the family any trouble, until now. She said neighbors, for the most part, comment on the garden positively.

"They stop by and they say, 'Don't tear it down. We love it.  There's no reason to take it down. It looks great.'"

Canada says as he's gotten into his 80s gardening is really the only hobby he's capable of doing. He gets very emotional thinking about having to tear down his garden.

"It broke my heart," Canada said. "It's just a hobby and to take your hobby away from you -- you ain't got nothing else to do."

Hometown America, the company that runs Canada's neighborhood, told Local 6 on Monday they are considering a change to the rule as it applies to vegetable gardens and putting the order to remove Canada's garden on hold.

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