To a great extent, lawns, trees and gardens are matters of taste and personal preference. The home owners association’s primary interest is that your landscaping enhances the overall appearance of the neighborhood. Homeowners are encouraged to keep lawns healthy and mowed and gardens tidy and attractive. A few things are not permitted, such as growing commercial crops in your yard or allowing ivy or other vines to creep up the side of a house.
Homeowners may make minor changes in their landscaping without ARC permission (for example, replacing flowers or removing a shrub). A tree with a trunk diameter of six inches or less can also be removed by the homeowner without ARC permission. A homeowner is also allowed to prune the branches of a neighbor’s so that they do not overhang his/her property.
Other, larger, modifications, however, do need advance permission from the ARC, such as:
Expanding an existing garden beyond its current perimeters
Removing a tree with a trunk diameter of more than 6 inches
Terracing a sloping lawn
Major lawn and garden modifications, such as sodding, brick edging or terracing, are usually best left to professionals. If a project is noticeably shoddy or amateurish, the ARC may request the homeowner to improve it.