Hennigar’s Farm Market in Greenwich ordered to move flower beds

Wendy Elliott
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Traffic is busy along Highway 1 beside the flowerbed near Hennigar’s Farm Market in Greenwich. - Wendy Elliott, www.kingscountynews.ca 

‘The department has a responsibility to make the road safe for all’: provincial spokeswoman

Forget the hillside full of colourful flowers next year, says Greenwich farmer Doug Hennigar.

The province wants Hennigar’s Farm Market to push its u-pick flower garden back by about four feet after it deemed it was obstructing traffic.

The notice came two years after the province’s department of transportation and infrastructure paved the shoulder next to the bed. Hennigar understood, at that time, that his planting was in compliance.

“This takes a lot of energy,” he says. “I’m tired out at the end of the day and I’m gonna lose. There’s been no accidents associated with the flower hill. If that there had been, I’d move it in a heart beat.”


Province concerned with safety

Pam Menchenton, the department spokesperson, says the province’s urgent concern is for the safety of road users.

“The province has a right of way that ensures vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists have enough room to safely share the road. The issue with the flower bed is that it covers too much of the right of way – almost the entire shoulder of the road - and forces pedestrians and cyclists, or drivers attempting to provide room for pedestrians and cyclists, to veer into the path of fast moving traffic. The department has a responsibility to make the road safe for all.”

There is a paved sidewalk on the opposite side of the street.


Ten days to move garden

Hennigar sighs as he says he can’t understand the issue coming up again. He received a letter from Kings area manager Glen Strang on June 20, giving him 10 days to move the edge of the bed back.

Area staff have met and communicated with the business owner many times over the years to discuss and try to resolve the issue, Menchenton said.

“As a last resort, the department will remove the section of the bed that encroaches on the road themselves, but it is sincerely hoped that a resolution can be reached before that needs to take place,” she said.

She called Hennigar’s Farm Market a long-standing, popular destination for many Nova Scotia families and said it is a great benefit to the community.

“Area staff certainly recognize that and have been working with the business owner through the years to address the serious safety issue created by having a flowerbed so close to a very busy stretch of road.”


Province not supporting agritourism: Hennigar

Hennigar, who is the second generation in his family to own the business, says the province has a funny way of supporting the agritourism the you-pick flower hill represents.

Strang’s letter says the Public Highways Act gives him the authority to remove the offending flowers, dispose of all of the material and bill Hennigar for the costs. For his part, Hennigar maintains that the earth is prime topsoil and can’t be removed.

He calls the move indicative of a lack of support for farming and says this kind of regulation “really sucks the energy out of the business.”

Frequent cyclist Jennifer Jones of We’re Outside Outdoor Outfitters in Wolfville doesn’t understand the problem with the shoulder because it is paved by the flowerbed, where nearby the shoulder is composed of loose gravel.

A safety hazard at that stretch of the highway, she said, never even crossed her mind.

Reader’s Digest chose the Greenwich market as Canada’s best Farmer’s Stand in 2008. It has been in operation since 1948.




Geographic location: Greenwich, Nova Scotia, Wolfville Canada

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Recent comments

  • jean murphy
    June 30, 2014 - 16:02

    The old # 1 highway is barely adequate to handle the number of cars using it.The edges where pavement meets the road surface are jagged and irregular in most areas.If I were a cyclist I would be more concerned with these factors than a few rows of flowers along the route.(They might serve as a cusion when knocked over by a vehicle!)

  • Shelly Hill
    June 30, 2014 - 15:44

    Focus on fixing the potholes! This is most ridiculous! Our roads are hazardous because it is hard to find a stretch of road that one does not have to drive in the opposing lane to avoid craters! Let's really focus here!!!

  • Ann Probert
    June 30, 2014 - 12:12

    These are the most ridiculous statements I have ever read. Never been a problem with it before, so lets just get rid of it. Obviously the powers that be, have nothing better to do. Since this is the case, get rid of them. Mr. Hennigar, you are amazing. Keep up the good work. The community will stand behind you. God Bless

    • Bill Boyd
      June 30, 2014 - 13:27

      Did you read the entire article?

  • Shelley Joudrey
    June 30, 2014 - 07:00

    And yet, in Halifax, those claim to be homeless can walk through traffic banging on our windows begging for money (with their brand new Nike sneakers on) and no one says a word to them about obstructing traffic and yet good people get crapped on for flowers - pathetic!

  • Diane
    June 30, 2014 - 06:08

    It's only 1.2m at the edge of the garden, not the whole thing! Which only amounts to a row or two. Remove it, be done with it, it's not that big a deal!

  • NS Girlie
    June 30, 2014 - 03:32

    As much as I love what he has done, I have to admit when I first saw the picture, I felt the flower bed was too close to the road. So I have to agree with the rulers that be. However, I don't think the owner of the flower bed should be discouraged. He can still have his flower bed for everyone to enjoy just needs to set it back those four feet. Let's call it a bit of a compromise. At least he doesn't have to get rid of the whole garden. Then, I would indeed have a problem.

  • joseph mason
    June 30, 2014 - 02:02

    Why is this even an issue, Theres a sidewalk on the other side of the road, cyclists and runners can use that. If you travel literally 3 houses up the road, the 'shoulder' is nothing more then 12 inches of gravel that just goes into the ditch, which is certainly a lot less then the 4 ft they say this flowerbed is taking up. Personally, I want to know how in the hell this is a danger...

  • David Alexander
    June 29, 2014 - 22:33

    Let's leave the dangerous potholes and also forget about painted highway lines so hard to see that it's a wonder more tourists from outside NS aren't killed on our highways. No the DOT has done the right thing, we need to rip out this killer flower bed, that is definitely the right priority. Little wonder that NS is the backwater of Canada thanks to our anal retentive government bureaucrats.

  • patricia
    June 29, 2014 - 20:37

    this is a case of politicians and people of power having nothing better to do with their time. sad sad sad.

  • Bill Boyd
    June 29, 2014 - 19:59

    Judging by some of the comments here it looks as if a few commentators didn't read the article all the way through. The DOT only wants to remove 4 feet of the flower bed. Petition? Please! Storm in a proverbial teacup.

  • Aaron Bennett
    June 29, 2014 - 19:35

    This is a safety hazard but all the people that block the road for a yard sale is ok? Maybe the Province should look at real safety concerns and not try to find things to justify their jobs! Take a drive through Cambridge on a weekend people have yard sales and tell me what is worse, yard sales or flowers.

  • freda
    June 29, 2014 - 19:09

    I think it is a travesty to lose that beautiful hillside ,there is no accidents caused because of them and it is so beautiful when in full bloom for people to enjoy.LEAVE IT WHERE IT IS

    • Susan
      June 30, 2014 - 08:59

      Read the article - it's only 4 feet. It will still be there, just smaller.

  • Tammy
    June 29, 2014 - 18:34

    Wow! This flowerbed has been here for years! and its just in the last two years been an issue? this is ridiculous! I used to love driving by looking at the beautiful flowers when I lived in the Valley. Now when I go down to visit I still look for it! ridiculous it has to be moved!!

  • Brenda
    June 29, 2014 - 18:18

    Of course it should be moved. Who ever allowed it to be so close to the road in the first place. Does someone really need to die or get into an accident before someone has to say it should be moved. Sure it's beautiful and lovely to look at, but seriously..MOVE IT!!

  • C Follett
    June 29, 2014 - 18:07

    First of all ..people who ride or drive need to be accountable for themselves, and obey the rules of the road ......which is unlikely to happen secondly "someone" has way to much time on their hands seriously can they not find something more constructive to do!?

  • Michelle
    June 29, 2014 - 17:19

    I have lived in this area (and driven by that flower bed at least weekly and often more) for over 20 years. All I can say is stupid is as stupid does. The Minister needs to step in and stop this foolishness. Now.

  • yves trembly
    June 29, 2014 - 16:39

    what is better having flowers in a garden or on your grave ? that the question

    • babyjkeddy
      July 04, 2014 - 13:37

      flowers on your grave her flowers on the side of the road hmm how many accidents was caused by the flower beds can somebody please tell me that????

  • yves trembly
    June 29, 2014 - 16:36

    maybe 4 feets will be a difference beteween having flower in the garden or on your grave

  • Patricia Murphy
    June 29, 2014 - 15:16

    This is outrageous!! People in the area and from outside the area all love this piece of beauty in our midst. There must be some organized way to oppose this. I would sign a petition or do anything else anyone can suggest to prevent this hillside from disappearing from our lives!!!

  • Ann Fuller
    June 29, 2014 - 14:53

    The solution is simple. Plant flowers in the potholes and then the DOT will be all over them.

  • Jeff Nunn
    June 29, 2014 - 13:42

    If there was an occasional rcmp presence on this road maybe there would not be as quoted in this article "fast moving traffic" on this stretch of road. I think it's about time the police started to crack down on the motorcycle maniac's, oversized pickup trucks with loud mufflers and people who think that our roads are for drag racing.

  • Kathryn Belzer
    June 29, 2014 - 13:15

    Why not slow the traffic here? If people turn off here to o to the market anyway, a slowing of traffic might be a way in increase safety without the appearance of narrow-minded lack of imagination and concern for beauty.

  • Margaret spencer
    June 29, 2014 - 12:42

    Ok first of all I totally speak my mind from facts.... It's a fact that the garden creates beauty not a danger, it's a fact that no accidents have been an issue with the garden being where it is. If the province wants to point fingers and blame things for causing accidents look in new Minas and do something about the traffic and accidents on commercial street on a daily basis. The middle lane in nothing but a reason for accidents so look there instead of trying to fix something that is not broken. The garden only takes place in the summer and if and I say if an accident occurs because of someone looking at the flowers then it's drivers inattention, the garden has been there for years and the community looks forward to the beauty . I think that your looking for any old reason or excuse to cause an innocent person problems fix what is broken like the middle lane in new Minas not something that is enjoyable to look at. Also if this is obstructing traffic then I think these yards sales and people selling on the sides of the road should be stopped as well because a driver might stop suddenly to see something or look the other way or who knows pull out in front of another car well that could cause an accident too so band all of that from taking place as well . Personally I feel this is bull****** myself and I hope others reply as well. Here's to living in Nova Scotia where bull is flung and excuses made!

  • Jeffrey Baltzer
    June 29, 2014 - 11:49

    Someone start a Petition.

  • Jeffrey Baltzer
    June 29, 2014 - 11:46


  • concerned citizen
    June 29, 2014 - 11:36

    DOT sat on their butts and did nothing about the hazardous pot holes until June of this year while all the while thousands and thousands of dollars in damages to citizens personal vehicles was accumulating ?. yet just as soon as the flowers come out to help you forget Winter and beautify the area DOT is suddenly quick to jump into action ? Why are they so quick to notice something beautiful like this longstanding flower garden and immediately act on it , while so slow to notice something ugly and dangerous like a deep pot hole ? Why is DOT so quick to put someone else to work and expense.. and so slow at putting themselves to work and expense ? Why allow a 4 or 6 or 10 inch deep pot hole to go unattended for up to 5 Months but immediately jump into action when it comes to the issue of a flower garden that's beautified that location in a problem free manner for ever since I can remember ?

    • Jeri Malone
      June 29, 2014 - 20:44

      I totally agree, last winter i took out 2 Rims with 2 instant flat tires from the pot holes in wolfville one night ... the whole shoulder of the road was gone ... but they are worried about a flower garden ?? Get your Priorities straight !!!

  • Elizabeth Prevost
    June 29, 2014 - 11:13

    Can't the Nova Scotia government find a better way to spend their money. This only adds beauty to the Old highway .

  • Jeffrey Baltzer
    June 29, 2014 - 10:50

    That Real Idiot Who Complained Must Be Real PROUD Of Themselves.

  • Perry Munro
    June 29, 2014 - 10:50

    It is truly heartwarming to see that the Department recoginizes their responsibility to provide safe roads. It would be good to see them take their responsibility to fix the damn roads we are forced to drive on. Sorry in my community Black River we drive on the shoulders to avoid the pot holes which make the roads not safe at any speed.

  • Dawn
    June 29, 2014 - 10:26

    This is another way that the government is being ridiculous. Here is a thought; repair the roads then they will be safe and stop nitpicking the citizens of this province. Hennigar's Farm Market is a tourist destination for many and also employees many locals. The government needs to control the actions of big companies, NSP for example, and leave the small business owners alone, who are helping the local economy.

  • Meredith
    June 29, 2014 - 10:16

    Get over it. Move the bed. Big deal. Overpriced tourist trap

    • Jeffrey Baltzer
      June 29, 2014 - 11:17

      This person goes out of their way to make something nice to look at, and has been doing this for years and some idiot decided to bully him and ruin it, Hey Idiot why don't you pick on people that have old buses, cars and junk all over their yards. Thanks for RUINING something beautiful.

    • Jeffrey Baltzer
      June 29, 2014 - 11:18


    • Anita
      June 29, 2014 - 19:04

      Since when is stating an opinion being a bully? Sorry she doesn't share your views, but that doesn't make her a bully.

  • Sandra Kane
    June 29, 2014 - 10:14

    I think this is sad, traffic shouldn't be moving that fast any way as they will soon be into a town. Hasn't the government ant thing better to do then distroy something beautiful!

  • Shannon
    June 29, 2014 - 09:58

    Seriously?? Could this Government get any more ridiculous??

  • Christine Popowich
    June 29, 2014 - 09:55

    I would be more concerned with the potholes that one could lose a tire or person in! Or the brush that the dept needs to trim on the shoulders in rural areas because visibility at some intersections is slim to none! Leave the flowers alone, there is plenty of room to get around there.

  • Jeff Knapp
    June 29, 2014 - 09:38

    DOT needs to find more constructive things to do with their time and our taxpayer dollars. This specific issue is ridiculous. One needs to look no further than a few meters up the road to see that DOT's own shoulders encroach as much if not more than this little patch of flower bed (look a little further up the road in the picture above). DOT must be able to find better things to do than to bury small business with useless beauricratic bungling like this. Find something better to do with our tax dollars DOT!

  • Sandra Ramsay
    Sandra Ramsay
    June 29, 2014 - 09:19

    The flowers are beautiful! Leave them alone. If the government is so concerned about "safety" on the roads, they might want to fix all the pot holes first. They are NOT beautiful and are definately not safe! The flowers are.

  • Sandra Ramsay
    Sandra Ramsay
    June 29, 2014 - 09:09

    If the government is so concerned about "safety" on the roads, they might want to consider fixing all the potholes first!. The flowers beautify the area, the potholes dont and are definately a hazard.

  • Rodger Evans
    June 29, 2014 - 09:08

    This is ludicrous!!! I've biked HWY1 from Kentville to Wolfville dozens of times in the last decade. From West to East bicyclists are expected to drive in traffic as there is minimal paved shoulder once you leave New Minas by the KenWo Golf Course. The area in question is actually the first point before entering Wolfville that you can safely pull off and not feel like you are holding up traffic or taking your life in your hands. I found it interesting that when the road was resurfaced several years ago that the existing gravel shoulder wasn't extended and paved to allow bicyclists to safely travel through Greenwich and into Wolfville. Is this because it would infringe upon the front properties of home owners? Do they deserve more rights than a business person that has been the face of the Valley for more than half a century??? Personally, I'm waiting for the rail-trail to be completed so that I can safely go between Kentville and Wolfville without ever entering traffic. I've always felt that bikes are viewed as the enemy when travelling HWY1.

    • Nick
      June 30, 2014 - 08:55

      To Mr. Evans: It has long been my view that bicycles should be considered as pedestrians and should remain on the sidewalk. How bicycles ever became a "vehicle" on the road (despite not requiring a driver's license, and obviously moving at speeds of >20-25km/h) still confuses me. I drive from Grand Pre to New Minas 2-3 times a day. There may be a half-dozen pedestrians on the whole route, discounting Wolfville's main street proper. I have no idea why cyclists don't use the sidewalk as it would be much safer for them as well as motorists. Putting a 30-40lbs piece of steel on the same road as a 2000lbs piece of steel is just idiotic. There is much more similarity / ability to dodge between a pedestrian and a bicyclist vs. a motorist, so it's never made sense to me. When I bike, I use the sidewalks. And if anyone has anything to say, stuff 'em. It's my life, and my safety. Also, as a motorist, I know how much each and every one of us hates that annoying cyclist on the road.

  • Alex Milne
    June 29, 2014 - 08:58

    What a lot of cods wallop!

  • wendy
    June 29, 2014 - 08:56

    seriously !!!! a green space is preferable to a paved area ,,,just look ahead at the end of his parking lot ,,there is just as much space from the white line to edge of grass before it hits ditch ,,,same distance ,,,so grass and ditch is better than flowers???just look at the man on bike in upper right corner ,,sometimes towns and town planners make me shake my head ,,,,when someone trying to make a place unique ,,just shove a bylaw up the pipe and stop it ,,,fix your pot holes ,,,fix your side of roads ,,leave flowers and people who try and beautify a place a a man who is trying to use the creativity to make your town beautiful .....

  • jdowell
    June 29, 2014 - 08:55

    I had to cross the center line the other evening there to get around a cyclist. There is potential for a serious accident given the fact that you are also coming down a hill around a corner. I don't think that moving a flower bed back 4 feet is a really big deal. The right of way existed before the flower bed. Hennigars should be happy they got to use the land all of these years. Why should the province have to wait until an accident happens for Mr. Hennigar to move off of DOT land.

  • Lisa Kaulback
    June 29, 2014 - 08:37

    Wow ! What next will they dream up to waste our tax dollars on ?!! And people say we have a democracy ? Sure doesn't sound that way.

  • Joanne
    June 29, 2014 - 08:28

    If the department of transportation has the responsibility to make the roads safe for all, how come they can't install a guard rail on the Bluff Road where several accidents have occurred, and cars went over the embankment and into a ravine? I was told there was not enough money to put a thirty foot strip of guard rail in. Isn't life worth more than money? Especially since it's the tax payers that are either going to work or home from work that are having these terrible accidents? But no, don't worry about that. Let's focus on that killer flower bed...

  • Susan Porskamp
    June 29, 2014 - 08:09

    I am having a difficult time keeping my comment civil regarding this issue. This is a technicality and the province is nit picking hennigar's Farm Market to death. I am a cyclist as well and there is absolutely no hazard being cause by this flower bed that has been on that hill for as long as I can remember. The real issue should be the condition of our roads and how unsafe they are everywhere else except at this location. Back off DOT and fix some of the real problems instead of red taping people to death. Yeesh!

  • roxy5000
    June 29, 2014 - 07:52

    CONTACT GLEN STRANG AREA MANAGER, (902) 679-4308 share the number for people to voice their opinions

  • Murrb
    June 29, 2014 - 07:35

    If only the authorities were as diligent about road work, as they are about a few flowers?!! Our roads are a mess.

  • Peter Elderkin
    June 29, 2014 - 07:27

    Should the department of transportation be so concerned for the safe passage of traffic through Greenwich why was a new intersection constructed in Greenwich which is not large enough to handle current traffic in the community. Traffic is often backed up to Hennigar's from the lights so the danger from 10 km /hr traffic is minimal. Is this all our provincial employees have to do, no money to repair the roads but plenty to continue the bullshit.

  • Heather
    June 29, 2014 - 07:18

    I see both sides on this one. I certainly agree our farmers are not getting support from the government and are definitely being increasingly pushed into the margins I just don't know that this is a case of that. When I read the article it sounded like NS Transportation has been asking for the flower bed to be moved back for more than a year. That picture doesn't look like there is much room and I don't think there is a crosswalk there for someone to cross to the other side (correct me if I am wrong please). Th province owns the right of way, so a portion of that flower bed has been in it for a while. I'd lik to see Transportation go down and help relocate the soil that is in the right of way to the side of the hill, so the flower hill is a little wider thereby not losing any garden area. To me THAT would be working things out. Hill is slightly reshaped, Right of way is cleared and no gardening area is lost. Just my thought

  • Bruce Welton
    June 29, 2014 - 06:15

    I can't see where this causes any more of a hazard or distraction then say eating your meal right on the sidewalk in a busy narrow street in Kentville or Wolfville.

  • Bruce Welton
    June 29, 2014 - 06:13

    I can't see where this causes any more of a hazard or distraction then say eating your meal right on the sidewalk in a busy narrow street in Kentville or Wolfville.