And I won! It has been approved! I can now go rebuild a modified version of my original rock garden. It will have more “green”, including one section of moss. Since there will be actual living things in my garden, that means I’ll have to work harder at making sure everything stays alive, but, I suppose I’m up to the challenge. And, if not, I can always just buy more plants …
I think there were 3 factors in getting my HOA to relent:
I showed a willingness to work with them, and let them be involved in the “design” process. Everybody likes to feel like they are part of something; no one likes to feel like something was thrust upon them unexpectedly.
I played the race card. And it wasn’t even that hard! Once I made mention to one HOA member that I built the Japanese rock garden “in celebration of my heritage,” he passed along the sentiment for me. And everybody got the hint that “celebrating my heritage” meant that I didn’t mind calling up the ACLU to see how they felt about my situation.
I joined the HOA Architectural Review Bard. Yup, that’s right, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Just the threat of me being at the meetings every month, as a peer, was enough to soften their hearts. I had every intention of submitting a new “plan” for consideration at every meeting, until they gave in. And if that didn’t work after a few months, I was gonna start making “motions” at every meeting to repeal the “no rocks in landscaping” rule. Hmm, I actually might still do that. Because, honestly, who even cares? Why make silly rules when you are the people that have to enforce them?
So, I guess fighting the good fight does sometimes work out. And I hope that as a bona fide HOA ARB member, I’ll be able to help others fight the good fight as well.