Annonymous letter says "your yard is an eye sore" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got a letter in the mail from an unnamed neighbor today stating that several neighbors have decided that our lawn is an eye sore and they are concerned. Right now our lawn, or lack there of, IS an eye sore. This past fall dh and I (mainly dh) decided that we were done with grass in the front so he killed it all and we got truck loads of mulch. The snow came and that was that. Most of the yard is covered in much with very little plantings. Dh does rain gardens for work and our idea was to develop a lawn free from the waste of watering and mowing, etc. Waste of time, waste of resources, waste of money..to us anyway. Rome was not created in a day though! This is Minnesota and this week is the first week worth getting outside. Give us a chance for pete's sake! This is going to take all summer...if not all next summer to accomplish.

I'll just bet that this old annonymous neighbor (some old fart I'm sure...that's all we have on our street) won't be happy because we don't have a flourescent green, closely shorn grassy lawn like everyone else.

Just pisses me off. Had to vent.

As a side note...
I frankly don't care if a neighbor has a car parked in their front yard! It's your damn house and if it don't bother you then it don't bother me. Mind your own business!! Dang it!!

amy

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#2 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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no for real, people need to keep there noses to themselves. Your yard sounds so awesome, or like it will be eventually. It's sucky that your concerned neighbor didn't have the balls to tell you to your face so that you could explain it. I wonder if they would have felt differently had they known what was going on.
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#3 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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I personally would be pretty mad at my neighbors for not even having the guts to approach me in person. I live in Vermont and this week is the week when most people plant things so I would not expect anyone who lives in a similar climate to have thier yard perfectly groomed yet.

I am kind of evil and if I was in your shoes I would probably do something smarty pants like putting a pamphlet in all my neighbors' mailboxes about rain gardens and green lawns or what not. Then I would probably find something really tacky and put it on my lawn like an old toilet with flowers planted in it with a little sign that said something like "and you thought it was bad before". I amawful!

Sorry you have annoying neighbors, I think everyone has at least one.

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#4 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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I am kind of evil and if I was in your shoes I would probably do something smarty pants like putting a pamphlet in all my neighbors' mailboxes about rain gardens and green lawns or what not. Then I would probably find something really tacky and put it on my lawn like an old toilet with flowers planted in it with a little sign that said something like "and you thought it was bad before". I amawful!
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#5 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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Both of my across-the-street neighbors have "lawns" of mulch that are slowly being filled in with trees, shrubs, perineals, herbs, and bulbs. If anyone does mention something to you in person, maybe you could share your vision of how it will look when you are done? Maybe your neighbors think all you intend to do is spread the mulch?

Mulch is better than a weed patch like mind.

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#6 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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I'm waiting for one of those in my mail. And I don't even have a plan! Just a messy yard!!

I'm sorry you neighbors didn't have the testicular fortitude to come to you directly. I have a neighbor whose lawn is really an awful eyesore (tennis ball yellow house, grass about 10 inches high, tractor parts in the front, etc. etc.etc.) and several of our neighbors met with him to see if they could help him clean it up, etc. etc. They presented themselves quite well and avoided a big blow up (he has some mental issues that could have been a problem). Perhaps if your neighbors had had the courage to speak to your personally, you could have explained yourself and avoided all of this ill will. Many people dont have the strenght to do that, though. Its a shame. And the person that wrote it is probably the most santimonious person on the block!!!:
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#7 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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I think the time is ripe for some pink flamingoes...

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#8 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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I think the time is ripe for some pink flamingoes...

And those would of course be faded second hand pink flamingos rescued from the dump right They would look lovely next to the potty planter full of flowers

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#9 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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Oh and get some of those plastic geese you dress up in different outfits for the season too! (although they are kind of cute if you keep them clean and don't allow their outfits to get nasty tee hee)

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#10 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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Oh goodness, that's too much!! Well, the heck with them, they are all programmed for the green grass. To think, that was the HOT news in the 'hood! It's pretty tacky that they wrote you letter instead of T.A.L.K.I.N.G to you.

But you can't forget to get the wooden cutouts of the farmer/boy and his wife/girl bending over. Ack, I did a search to show a pic but I can't find one.

I used to live in MN and really miss the summers but the winters are just too long and cold.

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#11 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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But you can't forget to get the wooden cutouts of the farmer/boy and his wife/girl bending over. Ack, I did a search to show a pic but I can't find one.
Spotting those while on a car trip was absolutely the highlight of our day when we were kids... we called them "Butt Ladies" and "Butt Men."

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#12 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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Wow..surprised we didn't get one yet! When my exh lived at home he didn't do diddly squat in our yard and my mom and I have been dealing with it ever since. My uncle was helping out for a while..he would cut our grass and chop and do repairs but he had to stop for a while for health reasons...so our grass got really long and our weeds grew and we couldn't afford a new lawnmower...well, finally, at the end of summer we got one and one of our neighbors actually came out and stared at me while I cut it!

So then that one didn't work this year and we finally afforded a new one and some flowers and stuff and then my mom overheard our neighbors talking and the lady says "They are fixing up their yard." and the man goes "yeah, but they still have lots to do." And yes, we have an old ugly tree that got bent during an ice storm and if it STOPS RAINING we will chop it down...but we have a ton of work and people really need to give us a chance!!!

So whatever...writing letters to people...here's an idea...go over and say something like "I really enjoy gardening and yard work..let me know if you ever need any help." That's what my Mom and I said when people would glare at our grass and stuff...like...maybe offer to help instead of being so darn rude? That's how I see it..if you are so bored that you have nothing better to do than write letters and make rude comments maybe you could spend your time offering your help..and if your life is so busy you don't have time to help maybe you could shut up!

I bought a shirt with a rabbit that says "I know, I'm perfect, now quit staring" and I will wear it every time I cut the grass.
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#13 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 06:12 PM
 
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Why are neighbors like that! A few of mine are like that and it drives me nuts...especially when there are abandoned houses on our block that are true eye-sores!

I could never keep up with a lawn, so I don't blame you a bit for wanting to get rid of it! Thankfully my front yard is pretty small so mulch and a bunch of bushes keeps it looking pretty full and green with minimal effort. Now if only I could find some way to keep the weeds from coming back so quickly!
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#14 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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Yeah, we haven't got one either. We bought our house in the fall as a forclosure and now all the weeds have started growing, but we did try killing them a couple weeks ago. Vinegar works well, dh also bought some weed killer for the main lawn, it's working too. Your neighbors should be patient with you, things take time!

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#15 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 07:40 PM
 
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I think the time is ripe for some pink flamingoes...
Yeah, stoop to their level! That'll improve the relationship!
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#16 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 08:24 PM
 
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put up a sign that says "XERISCAPE"
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#17 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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Yeah, stoop to their level! That'll improve the relationship!
nak

well, i WAS joking. guess next time i'll make sure to use a smiley so there's no confusion.

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#18 of 71 Old 05-22-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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I know how it feels. I refuse to put a lot of time, money & energy into GRASS - of all ridiculous things. We mow & that's about it. But of course many of our RETIRED neighbours have PERFECT lawns & like to make little snide remarks. I try to ignore it but it is hard.

My only worry with neighbours like this (that won't even talk to you in person) is that they would also sneakily complain to bylaw - maybe take a sec to look at the what the bylaw rules are so you aren't in for a bad surprise.

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#19 of 71 Old 05-23-2008, 10:14 AM
 
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Sigh. I just have to put in a defense of this neighbor. I know what (s)he wrote was rude, but I just have to say it is hard to talk to neighbors if you don't know them well.

We have a neighbor who for some reason stopped mowing his lawn this year. He also is accumulating piles and piles of junk in his backyard. (Again, a new thing this year.) Luckily there is a big fence between most of our two yards so I don't have to look at it, but I am still not happy about it. It's not good for the neighborhood, kwim? It gives the local "thugs" the impression that people here don't care about their property, and we've already had some trouble with graffiti.

Plus, the neighbors across the street (I am assuming it was them because I can't think who else would do it) I guess got tired of looking at it and decided to mow just the part that's visible from their front porch. Unfortunately that includes part of my property (which I DO mow - I still have the poison ivy to prove it!) and they just mowed over everything for good measure. Including, oh, about $40 worth of nursery plants that I spent hours planting last fall.

But do you think I can muster the courage to go talk to either of these neighbors? No. I don't know them (perhaps I should mention that there is a language/cultural barrier), and can only imagine they'd be defensive and it will lead to more unpleasantness. (Something along the lines of the potty full of flowers.) Honestly, would any of you have responded well to a neighbor telling you that your yard was an eyesore in person? So I am probably going to end up putting up unfriendly, unsightly "No Trespassing" signs to make sure the plants don't get run over again. Even though I know I will only be perpetuating the cycle of isolation that created this problem in the first place. Sigh.

Sorry to thread-jack, I just thought it might help to hear a different POV. Good luck with your yard renovation and congratulations on liberating yourself from your lawn.

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#20 of 71 Old 05-23-2008, 10:19 AM
 
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I got a letter in the mail from an unnamed neighbor today stating that several neighbors have decided that our lawn is an eye sore and they are concerned. Right now our lawn, or lack there of, IS an eye sore. This past fall dh and I (mainly dh) decided that we were done with grass in the front so he killed it all and we got truck loads of mulch. The snow came and that was that. Most of the yard is covered in much with very little plantings. Dh does rain gardens for work and our idea was to develop a lawn free from the waste of watering and mowing, etc. Waste of time, waste of resources, waste of money..to us anyway. Rome was not created in a day though! This is Minnesota and this week is the first week worth getting outside. Give us a chance for pete's sake! This is going to take all summer...if not all next summer to accomplish.

I'll just bet that this old annonymous neighbor (some old fart I'm sure...that's all we have on our street) won't be happy because we don't have a flourescent green, closely shorn grassy lawn like everyone else.

Just pisses me off. Had to vent.

As a side note...
I frankly don't care if a neighbor has a car parked in their front yard! It's your damn house and if it don't bother you then it don't bother me. Mind your own business!! Dang it!!

amy
Wow. What a cowardice and unkind thing to do. You have terrible neighbors and I might make copies of that letter and distribute it to the neighborhood with a note explaining how you'd prefer to talk with neighbors in person about their concerns.
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#21 of 71 Old 05-23-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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I laughed when I read your post because I can imagine getting the same letter - haha. I bet it would make me mad if I *actually* got the letter though. You could fill you lack luster yard with political signs and see if they like that better? Or maybe set up a online donation site for concerned neighbors to contribute to your environmental preservation project? Maybe one that says "If you think the yard is bad, you should see the laundryroom!" or how about "My wife broke off the affair with the gardener" Then they would REALLY have something to talk about!
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#22 of 71 Old 05-23-2008, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was also concerned about them complaining to the city and us getting fined or something. I talked to dh about it when he got home. He got permission from the city to do this kind of thing and even if we never plant a plant there isn't anything they can do about it! As long as we don't have tall weeds everywhere we're cool.

A lady a few doors down has a son in law who knows my dh...both are arborists. The lady complained to him about our lawn and the guy told her "what? That's a guy who actually GETS IT! What's he's doing is great!"

I'm sure we're the talk of the 'hood!!

Amy

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#23 of 71 Old 05-23-2008, 11:20 AM
 
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testicular fortitude
laughup
I love that!

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#24 of 71 Old 05-24-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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our yard is so bad that our neighbors once returned a shopping cart from it (I was 2 weeks pp though)

this might be a good site for ya..

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#25 of 71 Old 05-24-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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Oh, we had a really pitiful gossip/complainer on our street, she just moved! A few years back she just wouldn't leave us alone. If you call the city here a man comes out and inspects your yard, takes pictures or talks to you about why someone called. I know we are a bit messy outfront, toys, gardening stuff, but HEY WE LIVE HERE!!!! (we spend a lot of time outdoors) So, we converted our old toilet into a planter mailbox. (a little girl rides her bike past everyday hollering "I love your toilet!") We also turned every sunny part of the front yard into veggie gardens. We used to get comments like, "you are supposed to do a garden in your backyard" to which we reply, "we have a garden in the back yard!".
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#26 of 71 Old 05-24-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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I think you need to put a sign in your yard explaining what and why you are doing it and make them all feel really stupid for writing the letter without talking to you first.

It's a good thing I don't have neighbors! :
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#27 of 71 Old 05-24-2008, 04:56 PM
 
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This is when having a decent relationship with your neighbors would help. If they knew what you were doing, or trying to do, I doubt they would be on you like this.


I have written, called and been that woman who complains about yards. I would love it if the HOA would allow me to take my grass out, but we still have a small patch in our front yard. (small enough to hand clip in an hour or two) My yard is done without chemicals. I have blue berries, strawberries, roses, wisteria, jasmine, and a rhodie that I really want to remove. The neighbors accross my small private street are renters. They do NOTHING to their yard, same with the woman who lives next to me. So I fire up my gas lawn mower, and mow my tiny patch, and their larger lawns. I pull their weeds... because I do not want their weeds in my yard. I have done the stuff to my yard that removes the need for gas powered mowers and the like... but I still use them because my neighbors do not give a rats butt.

I take care of their roses, mostly because they wont.. and I like to look at a nice yard when I am on my front porch. I also put ladybugs on their roses, salt them in the spring and cut them back in the fall.


Can I tell you how sick I am of doing this? It is to the point where I want to put all the clippings right in front of their door.

So am a nosy, bitchy neighbor? Or am I someone who takes pride in his neighborhood. Who is the problem?
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#28 of 71 Old 05-24-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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Phoebe (Amy), I'm a Minneapolis person too! Brava to you for going to wood chips (It take big balls/ovaries). Good luck getting something to grow in there and look good. I have some plants you canhave. I live in uptown - daylilies, chives, nasturtium seedlings, ajuga and snow on the mountain, hosta and lily of the valley and native MN strawberries!!! email me kelly at kellynewcomer dot com
I livenear bryant lake bowl.
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#29 of 71 Old 05-25-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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put up a sign that says "XERISCAPE"
You should totally do this!

"If you only knew how many things I want to say and don't, you'd give me some credit."
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#30 of 71 Old 05-25-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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This is when having a decent relationship with your neighbors would help. If they knew what you were doing, or trying to do, I doubt they would be on you like this.


I have written, called and been that woman who complains about yards. I would love it if the HOA would allow me to take my grass out, but we still have a small patch in our front yard. (small enough to hand clip in an hour or two) My yard is done without chemicals. I have blue berries, strawberries, roses, wisteria, jasmine, and a rhodie that I really want to remove. The neighbors accross my small private street are renters. They do NOTHING to their yard, same with the woman who lives next to me. So I fire up my gas lawn mower, and mow my tiny patch, and their larger lawns. I pull their weeds... because I do not want their weeds in my yard. I have done the stuff to my yard that removes the need for gas powered mowers and the like... but I still use them because my neighbors do not give a rats butt.

I take care of their roses, mostly because they wont.. and I like to look at a nice yard when I am on my front porch. I also put ladybugs on their roses, salt them in the spring and cut them back in the fall.


Can I tell you how sick I am of doing this? It is to the point where I want to put all the clippings right in front of their door.

So am a nosy, bitchy neighbor? Or am I someone who takes pride in his neighborhood. Who is the problem?

Well, I wouldn't call you bitchy, but I do think you are way overstepping your boundries. You have no RIGHT to a nice view from your front porch. If you took it upon yourself to make changes to my yard, I'd be pretty pissed.
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