Sunday, April 11, 2010

Garden Dilemma

OK, This is NOT me. Try to imagine a chubbier woman with little dogs following rather than ducks. And also I would NEVER be wearing black socks! but I like the rest of the photo, the yard with the greenhouse and the deck...
Here's my problem. I've been working like a crazed person since last summer in recreating my yard/lawn garden. I live on an unusual size type of "lot". My front "yard" is VERY small with a walk running up the middle to the front steps. On one side of the walk it measures maybe 4 ft x 8ft and the other 8ft x8ft. Then there's a strip of grass about 3ft wide that runs straight across next to the sidewalk. After my lawnmower bit the dust 2 summers ago, I decided to rip up the grass and plant flowers, mostly perennials. I have stepping stones (mainly so that the mailman can walk on them because otherwise he WILL walk on the flowers) and I have landscaped with edging and stones. The strip on the other side of the sidewalk is mowed by my neighbor's (on the left) grandson because it's connected to their strip of grass and because they are NICE.
On the side of my home is my driveway, which was mainly dirt and a few stones. It is VERY wide and very LONG. So on either side I created flower beds surrounded by stones. The beds have perenniels and annuals and one has a birdbath and another a stool with a planter, well, you get the idea. At the end of the drive, next to my house, I dug everything up and enclosed it in a circle of hostas and climbing roses. In the middle I have put my vintage garden chairs and my wonderful picnic table that I got at an estate sale for $15.00! The wood has been sanded down so that you never get splinters! A wonderful place to sit and "work" on stuff. Towards the back, on the top of my backyard, it is enclosed by a privacy fence for my doggies enjoyment.

 I have a cute little dog house that I got from Target on 75% clearance (but was still $50.00!) that nobody uses. Oh, once in a while they'll stick their head in there like "What IS this Thing!?" anyway, I digress. To the other side of this enclosed area I have a wide path, about 6 ft across that leads down to the bottom of my yard which I will admit is in total disarray. (It is my project for THIS summer) the bottom area is really quite large and has a gradual decline on one side but drops off dramatically on the far side. In the spring, at the very bottom, it gets a little bit swampy so I'm scared to go down there (don't snakes like swampy?) and since my dogs aren't in that area...well.... and then in the summer when it's dry, the grass gets kinda high (and don't snakes like high grass?) so I, with head hung low, admit it's an overgrown mess. It also has the castoff trees and branches from my neighbors(on the right) hedge. You see, I got frustrated with it being such a wild and overgrown thing. It was so bad that I could barely see to pull out into the street (and I live on a busy one) that last summer I cut JUST the wild trees out of it. This action on my part caused my neighbor to scurry out while I was away at work and hack down the hedge to about 3 ft in the back and 2 ft up front....(I can't fathom why he wouldn't do it all at the same level!) SO, the next time that I'm outside he comes over and apologizes about the hedge being so high and I said, no that was fine, really - no problem. OK, YES! I admit it! I am passive-agressive! But I will save that for a later post. I do point out that it will grow back and when it does, would he mind if I kept it trimmed? Of course he doesn't mind! He tells me that he might someday rip the whole thing out and put up a nice white vinyl privacy fence. (Yeah, Right!)

So as the summer progressed, the hedge grew and I trimmed it. All summer long he had his truck and at least another car or two packed on the his front lawn. My sister (who is NOT passive-agressive, just very Assertive!) came over once at exclaiming "What the Hell! That looks like a F*#!ing  car lot!

( I hissed under my breath - sssh their windows are open!) Of course she replied SO! and Good!-Who Cares! They need to Hear!
So, this Spring, they have HUGE ruts in their yard from the truck and it looks horrible. So last week I am outside shoveling my truck load of new white shiny gravel around my drive, carefully placing it around the beds and being generally anal about the whole thing when my neighbor comes out. After some chit-chat he starts talking about the hedge again, and maybe he'll pull it out. I told him that I had cut the dead wood out of it a couple of days ago.... and then he asks if I mind if he just yanks it all out. So, I saw  - Yeah That's fine! (secretly hoping for that big vinyl fence and telling myself that it would be ONE less thing for me to take care of) Boy, did I walk into that one! Because then he said he was going to lay down some railroad ties and put down some gravel and park his boat there........................

I had nothin', I couldn't think of a thing because of the screaming in my head. All I could envision was this ugly brown fishing boat..................
So, Now. Do I put up a fence?, build a garden shed and plant small trees?,

 construct a beautiful greenhouse with imaginary money?

or just wait and see...my sister says he's too lazy to pull it out but I came home the other day and one shrub was pulled out with a some roots sticking out of the ground and new truck tire track ruts in his yard. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do. I'm researched a lot of things on the web. I kinda wish he'd read this post...but that would be the Ultimate in Passive-Aggressive Behavior, wouldn't it!

16 comments:

JUNKER JANE said...

!!!!!!! HAHAHA, that was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo funny!!!!!!!!!!! Oh man....everything...black socks comments.....effing car lot... passive agressive.....the scream.....I can't comment really....just laugh!!! Except I might be crazy but I love the dump look and if I had him as a neighbor I'd sneak over at night and plant wildflowers and plants all over that area so it would look like a junngle garden in and out of those car windows etc...... :D

yoborobo said...

Cindi - you are too funny! And about the black socks? Well, my uber cool 17 year old likes to wear them with his shorts. Maybe he's just special. LOL! Well, I guess you could wait and see what he actually does. Maybe he'll build some swell boathouse - haha, I was kidding. Fences cost big bucks. I don't suppose he's the type to split the cost since he likes old cars and ruts. The bit about 'good fences make good neighbors' is said for a reason. xox

oldblackcatboo said...

Hey Junker! I'd laugh too, if it wasn't me! But thanks! and I HAVE actually been tempted to plant flowers over there!

oldblackcatboo said...

Pam, Yeah - kids can wear black socks and be cool but old chubby broads just look dorky. And no, that guy wouldn't split the cost I'm sure, cuz you should see what he has rigged up to keep his dogs in his backyard! Oh! I forgot to mention his BROKEN hottub that has been sitting on his driveway for a year! On the OTHER side of this guy lives an old man that has a perfectly manicured lawn, that is so nicely edged and he's always out there spraying....maybe someday HE will blow and take care of the guy! LOL! I know! I'm just AWFUL!!!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i wish you could show me some pics of all of this because i now i could help you. the cheapest simplest thing to do would be to plant something like forsythia which grows like a weed. it wouldn't hide it in the winter though. i had custom made wrought iron fencing along the property line of my creepy neighbor. he was so bad that i took it down and put up wooden fencing along that side. he even tried to poison my last chow and he constantly threw partially eaten food in my swimming pool. he painted his house exactly the same color as mine and planted his planters the same way i planted mine. thank heavens he moved but the new people aren't much better!

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

i see octoberfarm here...she literally saved my life through all of this loss with Buddy..so EXCITED to find each other...cried when i read your letter...the toy poodle..you are a DEAR SWEET one to help that little guy out...

i just love you...

the loss of my Buddy just about did me in...i lost him March 3rd. if you go back to my older posts you can see him...this just about polished me off...what a heartbreak..what a loss..and who was there..octoberfarm... we met last Fall over a love of Halloween, cooking and gardening..and now, here we are...she has been a rock for me...
she understands..and you do too....

i didn't know what to do about another dog, but i knew i wanted a dog...and i guess i had to have a red toy poodle..and through all of this...because of octoberfarm i wanted to name my new little guy after her Teddy...

i am so happy to follow you...and i will be back next week to look around..supper calls now..but i am here to stay..

sending nothing but love to you and your sweet ones....

kary
xxx

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

i am back today looking at your blog..i found a kindred spirit...
i am so crazy in love with animals...

i am so excited to get Teddy...ssoooo lonely here without my Buddy...one week tomorrow...

how is Louie doing? what a sweet precious little guy..i am so glad you have him..he is a lucky little dog....

wondering about Louie...

kary
xxx

oldblackcatboo said...

Jaz! Aren't neighbors great!!!
I'm going to get some photos and then email you!

oldblackcatboo said...

Hey! Kary!
I KNOW! Jaz is So Great!
I'm glad to have you as my NEW friend!!We have SO much in common!
I'm emailing a photo of Louie!

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

oh....sweet, sweet, sweet adorable little Louie..he is just precious...what a darling little doggy...so HAPPY you have him...

so HAPPY he is HAPPY...

Great Story...my new friend

sending love to you and Louie,
Kary
xxx

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh no...the flu!!! feel better soon my friend! i can't wait to see/hear how you resolve your dilemma!

The Itsy Bitsy Spill said...

hehehehehehe!! You are too funny! I love love. I agree with Junker jane for sure, loads of vines as well and wild flowers. You know how to always make me laugh!

Night night sweetie pie pie!!

oldblackcatboo said...

Hey Magaly! Thanks!
Oh! I saw that you got that Cool Ragdoll of Junkers! Awesome!(I'm hoping she never makes a blackcat ragdoll...or i'll have to break my piggybank!)LOL!

Suzie said...

I know this is extreme, and I didn't have dogs to get into it, but when I had a neighbor who drove me nuts throwing things into my yard, etc. I put up a tall privacy fence, and when his kids decided to continually climb it as a short cut, I drove out to a country road and (wearing gloves and long sleeves) dug up some poison ivy and planted it along the bottom of the fence. Being a native agressive vine, it did its part quite nicely, and birds and other critters love the berries. It is only humans who have allergic reactions to it. And for appearances, because it is a native plant, it stays green even in the driest conditons, and turns beautiful colors in Autumn.

If you don't want to do anything quite so drastic, you might try planting some upright yews, forming a natural fence. They grow fairly fast, and can be quite dense.

I've often wondered why it is that all of us can't be neighbors. Just think of the wonderful gardens we'd have, and the fun we'd have together! How come each of us is stuck with a problem neighbor?

oldblackcatboo said...

Well! Thanks everyone! I thought I had come up with an idea that would block tha neighbor out...something pretty, involving a tall potting bench and some colorful bushes. BUT this morning I'm outside working and I look up to see this neighbor stringing a clothesline up from the corner of his house to the garage...then he comes out and I swear to God I'm NOT lying...he hangs up his jockey shorts (red ones with writing on them and his undershirts! That's it! I'm putting up a fence!

Suzie said...

Ooooh, Noooooo!!! I'm laughing, but only because this is so over the top, like he is doing anything and everything to either antagonize you. .and now it sound like he thinks that he is going to tantalize you!

Or maybe he does like the idea of a fence, but doesn't want to have to even go halvsies, so it trying to gross you out so that you'll put one up.

For whatever reason, I think that your blood pressure will be nicely reduced, and the good energy in your garden will not be constantly be bomabarded with his once you put up your fence. Peace and tranquility will reign supreme!