The owner of a popular Annapolis Valley farm market has been ordered to remove part of a roadside garden that’s been a feature near Wolfville, N.S., for nearly three decades.

Doug Hennigar says he's caught in a "bureaucratic boondoggle" and has been told by the province to move the flower bed near Hennigar’s Farm Market back 1.2 metres so there's more room on the shoulder of Highway 1.

If he doesn't comply, Hennigar says he's been told the province will bring in a crew to move the flower bed and he will be billed for the work.

"Twenty-nine years we’ve been doing this flower bed and no incidents of trouble," Hennigar said. "I’m not sure why the Department of Transportation is so got their nose out of joint about this issue."

The farmer says the garden holds up to 4,000 flowers.

Safety concerns

The shoulder of the road was paved about two years ago, Hennigar said, and now the province is demanding the flower bed be moved for safety reasons.

"Yes, the government can do whatever they want anytime because they’ve got the legislation to do it," Hennigar said. "But there doesn’t seem to be any level of common sense."

But a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation says it has received several complaints from cyclists about that stretch of the road. 

Glen Strang, the area manager, says the road is narrow in that section, and the garden is out almost to the edge of the paved surface. He says the last complaint was received a few weeks ago.

"There's not a lot of room there," he said. "It's sort of coming down a grade on the inside of almost a blind turn."

He said the department is only asking Doug Hennigar to remove about two rows of flowers.

"Certainly we want to be proactive and we're looking at all the areas of concern. Anytime someone brings a concern to us, we investigate and we certainly don't want any undue hardship on anyone but we are looking at it as a safety point of view." 

Strang confirmed if Hennigar doesn't comply by the deadline, the province will remove the section of the garden and replace it with gravel or pavement. 

In 2008, Reader's Digest listed Hennigar's as the best farmer's stand in Canada.