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Palm Harbor woman says HOA wants to rip out garden she planted with her late partner

Posted: 6:07 PM, Oct 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-23 18:48:39-04

PALM HARBOR, Fla. — A Pinellas County woman is worried the garden she shared with her late partner will be destroyed. 

"There are a lot of memories of us spending time and friends spending time in the garden,” said Catherine Wade.

She planted and tended to the garden while Pat nurtured her green thumb by trimming the fast-growing branches and weeds. 

Pat passed away suddenly in August and she says the garden is helping her cope with his death. She says it’s been really hard.

"My hair is falling out, I lose my voice and it’s just traumatic to me,” she said.

Recently, the HOA for Andover Phase 1 in Palm Harbor sent a letter to residents that indicated landscaping work would begin on October 22. 

The letter told residents they need to remove potted plants, garden art and anything else in the plant beds. If those things aren’t removed, the letter states landscapers will discard what’s left.

Wade says she understands why the HOA and management team want to clear out areas that haven’t been kept up, but she says many people have gardens that are well tended to.

"They're well-maintained and they’ve been established for years and the HOA has allowed it for years,” she said.

Wade’s doctor sent a letter to the management company asking them to let her keep it because it's therapeutic. That was followed up by a letter from her attorney. She says until Tuesday, she hadn’t heard anything back.

"It is all I’m thinking about and I’m very very stressed out about,” said Wade. 

The management company tells ABC Action News the letter has been passed on to their attorneys. We called the attorneys who say they are looking them over before they say what happens next.