Singapore – A mother took to social media to share her concerns about gardening after seeing a town council advisory prohibiting their actions.
On Friday (May 15), Fang Shihan took to Facebook to share her surprise when she saw a photo of her and the kids in a notice from the Ang Mo Kio Town Council hanging on a nearby tree. The advisory indicated that the garden she was tending to was illegal as it was located in the common area. She was given a month to remove the plants.
The justification for the notice was based on the town council’s by-laws which states:
“Place any pot, plant, ornament, article, object or substance on or at any window sill, corridor or other parts of the common property in such manner which is likely to endanger the life or cause injury to any person or cause damage to any common property or the property of any other person.”
Ms Fang grew up with gardening playing a big part in her childhood, digging around for earthworms included. She wanted to give the same experience to her children rather than being cooped up inside the house all day during the circuit breaker. She wished to change their “screen-based entertainment” into a nurturing initiative in a “highly sanitary indoor playground.”
She added that aunties and uncles frequently came up to her as she was tending the garden, reminiscing their love for nurturing plants. They mentioned how they wished they could do more planting, if not for the town council threatening to chop everything down, said Ms Fang.
After one auntie asked her if she paid money to rent the plot of land, the mother wondered if it is now a national perception for gardening to be reserved for those with money. Otherwise, you’d best leave the planting to the government,” she added.
Beyond the claim that her chilly padi plants and okra were endangering or injuring the public, it was the picture of Ms Fang and her children that was posted in the advisory that she found “most ridiculous.” Someone had taken the photo behind her back and went straight to the town council to complain. “If it was bothering you that much, couldn’t you have just told me about it?” she said.
In an update on Sunday (May 17), Ms Fang said she had spoken to the town council, and the “offending notice” was taken down. “The garden is still around, for now, until maybe someone complains about it.”
She also highlighted how difficult it is to get approval to get a community garden project to take off. She thanked everyone for their support and contribution for a very civil discussion on the issue.
Izyanti commented on the post and shared a similar incident that occurred in her block. They had a neighbour with a “hyper-green thumb”, and eventually a town council advisory appeared prohibiting the potted plants. “But then someone wrote on the thing, ‘but this garden makes this home,’” said izyanti Others followed suit and wrote messages supporting the woman. The garden survived.
“Under Town Council’s By-Laws Act 15(2): Place any pot, plant, ornament, article, object or substance on or at any…