Thursday, May 1, 2008


The length of the front of our property.

Yes, length does matter. When it is your property. Your tiny bit of the world.


Our neighbors, who consistently toss their lawn debris on our side, were about to plant bushes on our side. They already planted unusually close to the property line, not allowing room for growth of the plants.

So today, I was caulking the columns on the porch and noticed what they were about to do, so I went over there.

Me "Hi."

Neighbor "I am planting Hydrangeas."

Me "Oh Pretty."

Neighbor "Is that OK?"

Me "Actually those," pointing, "Are on our side."

Neighbor "Oh." looking confused. "Where is the line?" Like she didn't know, we discussed it the other day when we planted our azaleas. And.... Her yard guy never picks up on our side of the "line" or cuts the grass past the line. She so knows the location of the property line.

Me "Actually the line is right where the other plants are located. They are actually planted right on the property line." pause " We haven't finished cleaning up the front, but we are working on it and I know Chris will have out the spray, and I would hate for him to spray your plants on our side. You see how he killed some of the Camellias" Pointing again.

I am a pointer, Can't help it. I know it is rude.
But I was pointing at plants not people. Is that ok?

Neighbor "Oh, OK." moving plants back.
Speaking to her yard guy. "Guess we didn't plan very well."
Then starts talking to yard guy giving me the hint to move on.

Me "Thank you" turning right into the bush they had just dug up from their yard and placed in our yard. (More of their yard debris on our side.)

Me "Oh, are you throwing this out?" picking up the over watered gardenia.

Neighbor "Yes, I don't want that junk, you can have it." Yep, she said junk.
Slam..She thinks. She just doesn't know what I do with junk, like the rocking chair, the table, and the outdoor furniture, and...... the house.

Me "I am pretty good at saving things, thanks." Actually thinking... "It is on our side so I can take it regardless. "

Neighbor "OK."

Me "By the way we are working very hard so our yard doesn't look so trashy and it would be nice if you can place your yard debris on your side."

Neighbor with a snip in her voice "Ok, well be sure to keep everything on our side."

Me... walking back to finish caulking porch columns.

GESH!!! You know some people just take advantage of anything and anyone if you let them.
That is just not neighborly to toss your yard debris on the other side of the property line! Let alone to have the nerve to plant things in your neighbor's yard.

I really wish I would not have taken the plant, just placed back on their side in front of them on the curb.

Hour later...While still caulking. I hear her tell her husband that she had the plants all around our dogwood tree and I had the nerve to say something to her. (The dogwood is over 3 feet into our property.)

What are your thoughts? Advice ? I really don't want a battle over the property line? I want to get along with the neighbors. We don't have to be BFF's, just courteous considerate neighbors. I just want them to leave our 108'-1" alone.
I shot the photo on a Sunday Walk, and thought this would be nice.


Anonymous said...

I would put two posts/sticks in the ground on the property line and tie a string between them.
Then stand out there when they were in the yard
and tell them that you are considering putting up a
"cute" little picket fence.

Really a fence sounds like a good idea to have with a neighbor who has problems with the idea of
property lines, etc.

maya said...

i'd fence that sucker right up.

Sandy said...

Unfortunately, I agree about the fence. That way, hopefully it won't get ugly. I don't know why people have to behave like that.

Marilyn said...

Ooh, Jenni, I'm sorry you had to do that - ugly neighbor relations can feel awful. I think a fence would provide a little distance and peace of mind. And you keep nursing the "junk" back to health - hmph!

Greg said...

I think you handled it well. It sounds like you were polite but firm. They now know that you know where the line is and you're watching. The next time I would not be so polite. You don't want to fight with your neighbors, but you don't want them to walk all over you either. If you're like me, the latter would keep me up at night. The former - not so much.

Anonymous said...

Don't air your laundry. Try to keep peace with your neighbors. Two posts and a string between them on the line should work....leave it there and they should get the point.

Green Fairy said...

Robert Frost wrote, "Good fences make good neighbors," and he was right. It sounds like Neighbor Woman is being just awful. And I agree with Marilyn; nurse that gardenia back to health--she doesn't deserve it.

Jenni said...

Thank you, Gang. The posts and string sound good. The metal property line marker is in the ground on our other side. It was removed on the side mentioned. I can get out the 200' tape and place a new marker. We thought about doing this when we realized the marker was gone, but didn't.

Anonymous, FYI. Only 3 people in townsville know this site. I checked the stats. Only 3 different visits were from townsville, and only 10 total local hits in 2 months. I think about what I say on the site and in comments. I never say anything about any subject or person that I would not tell someone face to face.

Writing the post was an outlet for my fustrations. Much better than allowing her to pay someone to plant on our property then going over and ripping them up, which did cross my mind.

Laur said...

"good fences make good neighbors"

natalie said...

i love this!!!!!!
our neighbor has been there for 60 years so we didn't survey when we put the fence in our backyard...we just trusted "the line".
but even though i can't relate, i find this hilarious (but i feel for you too)!
maybe use some strategically placed stakes?
have a great weekend!

Jenni said...

When we bought the house, it had not been surveyed since the early 50's (same owner)so we had to have a new survey done before we could close.

kitliz said...

I agree with putting up a fence! I love my next door neighbors, but I still like to have a nice big 5-foot divier between "mine" and "yours."

I did however, have some issues with my back-side neighbor. There was this old "wall" of stones stacked about 2 feet up on my property with a chain link fence covered with vines on top. I had the courtesy to tell him I was putting up a nice wood fence and would put up a temporary barier for his dog (as the chain-link and stone were clearly on my property) and he pitched a fit saying the only reason he and his wife bought the house was because she liked the stone and vines.

Then he tried to get me to put the fence up 2 feet inside my own property line so that he could have the pine tree in their yard too. Um, Hello? Seriously? My yard is like 10x10 as it is.

Needless to say, I cut all the vines off the chain-link, but put my fence on my side of it so he can still look at that rusted old fence he liked so much!


Jennifer said...

How frustrating! I agree with the fence.. or at lesat the post and strings an the appearance of THINKING about putting up a fence!

Jen & Stan said...

I dislike fences as much as I dislike ignorant neighbors. We are fortunate enough now to have neighbors that are in fact neighborly but we haven't always.

Our last neighbors were people who had been and gotten away with being "bad" neighbors before we moved in and didn't take well to our no tolerance attitude. Folks like these never do. It used to bother my mother. She'd say we should get along with them. But she comes from a generation of people afraid to stand up and say when something is wrong. We do not. We feel those that don't respect boundaries (of any sort) aren't worth our energy. We have comes to terms with the fact that at least 50% of the population is ignorant. Clearly some of those people are going to live around us.

I am pretty sure they might see things from a different perspective if you, let's say, put in a squirrel feeder 3' over into their property line!

Hallie&Joe said...

Absolutely - put up a fence - any kind of fence. I don't recommend the stakes idea - because if you aren't following up with a real fence it's just gonna seem antagonistic (it seems a bit open ended will just keep the back and forth going). Whereas a fence will settle it once and for all. Sure, she'll think its a bitchy move but it's one move whcihc will end the whole issue forever. Kwis?

Jen said...

I also vote for a fence. A nice picket fence would be cute with your house! Puppy would probably like a fenced yard, too :)

Robj98168 said...

LOL Good fences don't neccesarily make good neighbors! My uncle recently went through a property dispute with a neighbor- she discovered the fence was on her property line. The fence has been there over 30 years. Before my uncle and his family moved in. Well long story short- they ended uo in court(she decided to sue my unclesince "He responded to her in a threatening and dangerous manor" what posh- he is disabled, on oxygen and gets around on a lil rascal scooter- anyway the verdict- case dismissed and the judge went further to say that mrs. Snootynose has to pay my uncles legal fees. If she had just been accepting to the fact that this hence was in there for over 30 years, she would be %4500 richer!