FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 12 (UPI) -- The National Bank of Florida says it didn't know anyone was growing vegetables on a piece of land it had cleared in Fort Lauderdale.
Bank officials said they received notification from Fort Lauderdale city officials the property was overgrown and gave them 10 days to clean it up, The Miami Herald reported.
The bank quickly dispatched a crew of workers to clean up the property.
The workers cleared away the 20 4-foot-by-8-foot plots where the Flagler Village community was growing vegetables and flowers, ridding the vacant lot of tomatoes, radishes and cucumbers. Gone, too, were the marigolds and sunflowers, along with the basil, rosemary and thyme.
"They took everything and didn't give us any warning whatsoever," said Kate Sheffield, the garden's coordinator. "It was the start of something that would've grown into something bigger."
The garden was regularly tended by about 15 people, and it was a bit overgrown in spots, Sheffield said.
CNB spokeswoman Isabel Fernandez said the bank didn't know about the community garden.
"Unfortunately, we found out after the fact that it hurt some people," she said.
Fernandez said the bank wants to make things right.
"We respect the time they put into it," she said. "We definitely would love to be a part of helping them start it again in a better location."