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

Fairways Country Club tries to outlaw gardening, man's only hobby

Article and Video Courtesy of Channel 6 -- Orlando

By Evan Lampert

Published February 6, 2013

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - 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.


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 of the Fairways Country Club HOA 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.