Residents ordered to tear up their own gardens

VANCOUVER, Wa. -- A universal symbol of love is bringing pain and sadness to people who live in the Brandt Terrace Apartments in Vancouver.

Residents like Karen Hernandez are upset over a letter the landlord sent instructing everyone to dig up their gardens by summer.

"There's a great deal of pride involved in our gardens," Hernandez said, pointing to the flowers she's planted in the small yard in front of her unit.

KATU could not reach the apartment managers on Sunday.

The letter, provided by Hernandez, says only property-owned shrubs or plants will be allowed in the small grassy areas near the units.

The apartments here are not fancy.

Single-story, simple, and small units without many frills -- except for the lush gardens.

Many residents planted dozens and dozens of flowers, clearly devoting years to the gardens.

A woman named Maria started crying when she walked outside of her apartment on Sunday.

Maria doesn't speak English, but has nurtured her flowers for a decade since she moved to Vancouver from the Ukraine.

Another woman, Zina, said she invested a lot of money and time into her flowers.

The landlord, Al Angelo Properties, told residents in its letter, provided to KATU by Hernandez, "We will no longer be permitting anything planted in the grounds around your apartment or anywhere on the property."

KATU left a voicemail for property managers on Sunday but it was not returned because the office was closed.