We’ve been in our house, a pre-war semi, for seventeen years now. It’s been a lovely family home, reasonably spacious as semis go, and with a wonderful garden for the children to play in and for us to divulge our love of gardening. We’ve done quite a bit in our garden over the years and have planted a range of shrubs, plants and bulbs that erupt into seasonal flower throughout the year. As you can see from the picture it is my little oasis of green space that really helps me to cope with the challenges of life. Unfortunately, behind this tranquility lies a problem – the neighbours.
Ever since they moved in a few years ago we’ve had a lot of problems with them. It all started with the fence that divides our garden from theirs. No sooner had they moved in than they started pulling down the fences that surrounded their garden and putting up new ones. Of course, they have every right to do this; it is their garden except that they didn’t have the decency to consult with anyone. Such was their rudeness that they even waited till we had gone away for a few days before they put it up. We didn’t mind a new fence but what we didn’t like was them going behind our backs and erecting an ugly looking fence. In fact it’s such an eyesore that another neighbour has put up a fence to cover it so that his side of the garden now has a double layer of fencing. Our neighbours don’t seem bothered by any of this; in fact they hate plants and have stripped their once mature garden to virtually nothing. It is now a football strip of lawn surrounded by orange fences. Now that is their decision and I appreciate that not everyone is into gardening and I can also see that with children there are benefits in having space for them to play. But what I do have a problem with is when the lady of the house starts attacking my plants because she doesn’t like them or because they’ve dared to creep over her beloved fence. The honeysuckle is the one she hates the most. It is beyond her control as it wraps its way around the shrubs and over the fence that divides our land. I wouldn’t mind if she just trimmed it back but she doesn’t. She attacks it; she pulls at it and even leans over into my garden to hack at it with a huge pair of shears. I’m trying to ignore her controlling behaviour to be honest and have even had a giggle over it because in the end of the day the plant as had the last laugh. The more it gets hacked, the more it grows and the more it annoys her.
The problem is that she has now taken it upon herself to interfere with my front garden. There is no fence that divides her front lawn from mine except a row of beautiful shrubs that I have tendered over many years. They have a particular emotional significance for me as they remind me of special moments in my life such as the plant that I bought as a cutting at a playgroup sale that is now a healthy flowering shrub. So I was very disappointed to see her attacking this and other shrubs to such an extent that they have now lost their natural shape. They are now straight one side whilst naturally full and billowy on the other but at least they’re still alive. Of course if anything overhangs her garden she has a right to trim it back so I go with it but what I’m not happy with is when she intrudes onto my property. I just couldn’t believe it the other day when I saw her pulling things out of my flower bed. Just who does she think she is? I haven’t spoken to her about it because after the police incident I really don’t want anything to do with her or her husband anymore. It would be too easy to end up in a much bigger dispute with them and, frankly, I don’t need the stress.