By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Bad ideas grown in Vickery garden
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News
Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, “What were they thinking?”

A group of parents in the Vickery subdivision decided the planting of community gardens would be a good way for their children to learn to appreciate the sowing and reaping that leads to fresh fruits and vegetables, and even a charitable way to provide succor for community food banks.

It was a great idea. Except for one thing.

The property on which they wanted to plant didn’t belong to them.

The empty quarter-acre lot on which the parents decided to toil the soil in raised beds buttressed by stacked landscaping timbers belongs instead to Wachovia bank as a result of a foreclosure process in the community.

Wachovia doesn’t want a garden on the property — which we can assume the bank hopes to sell or develop at some point, rather than having it become communal property for the neighborhood.

The bank told the parents to clear off its land, and the parents did what aggrieved parties often seem to do these days — called the press.

But the attempt to portray this as a fight between the big bad bank and the poor downtrodden residents of the community just doesn’t work.

Parents said they knew they were supposed to ask for permission before doing anything on the building lot and decided to go forth with their project without doing so. They knew the land didn’t belong to them, or to their homeowners’ association. They knew they were trespassing. And they did it anyway.

File this one away under “nice idea, terrible execution.”

Hoping to teach their youngsters a lesson about the joys of gardening, the parents instead proved apt tutors in the arts of ignoring the law, disrespecting private property and demonizing business.

There are a world of reasons why the bank that owns the property wouldn’t want it to be used in this fashion, not the least of which are legal liability and the precedent set by allowing use of the land for whatever purpose someone in the community might choose. This year it’s a garden. Maybe next year it’s a swing set. Or a putting green. Or some other amenity neighbors might like to put on land owned by somebody else. After a while it’s just community property, and any idea the bank had of selling it for whatever purpose is lost in the shuffle.

The really sad part of this unhappy springtime tale is that the children involved in the project will come away from the adventure convinced that the property owner is the bad guy for preventing caring and involved parents from doing good things. That’s an ethically reprehensible weed that would choke the life out of any vegetable patch.