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Next door's garden

(32 Posts)
ExDancer Thu 16-Sep-21 09:41:24

I live next to a village vicarage with a huge garden. It isn't used as a vicarage and the church leases it out to tenants, none of whom attend to the garden.
It is a huge garden, one that needs an army of gardeners to care for it and it's encroaching into mine, the sun shines across the gardens from my direction
Even though there's a good strong wall between us, raspberry canes shoot up in my lawn, brambles tumble over the wall and send suckers over into my space, ivy and other creepers I don't know the names of, invade along with that pink flower called, I think, Rose Bay willow herb, and weeds are everywhere.
And don't mention dandelions.
I have a fairly large garden too, which I manage to keep tidy on my own by sowing it down to lawn and getting someone to mow it for me. I'm 82. Most flowers are in tubs which I look after myself.
I complained to the Parish council who said it was not their problem, but sent in a couple of boys to mow the lawn, which resembled a hayfield, as a gesture of goodwill'.
No-one can tell me who is responsible.
As I sit in my tidy garden I watch the thistle and dandelion seeds float over in clouds and there's nothing I can do. I could weep.

JaneJudge Thu 16-Sep-21 09:49:28

Is the vicarage owned by the Church? Have you seen this?

glammanana Thu 16-Sep-21 09:49:57

ExDancer Is the Vicarage let out to different tenants who have decided individually that they are not responsible for the upkeep of the garden.
Can your Local Council not help you at all finding out who you contact rather than your very unhelpful Parish Council.

Silverbridge Thu 16-Sep-21 09:55:01

Try the Environmental Health Department of your county council. If any of the following weeds are not being controlled, they can issue a notice to the landowner under the Weed Act 1959: Spear Thistle; Creeping Or Field Thistle; Curled Dock; Broad-Leaved Dock and Common Ragwort.

Septimia Thu 16-Sep-21 09:56:27

Contact the diocese. If the vicarage is still owned by the Church then the diocese should be responsible, although the letting will no doubt be through an agent.

It should be easy enough to find out which diocese you're in, if don't already know, then find the webpage and you should be able to get some contact details.

Teacheranne Thu 16-Sep-21 11:20:44

Have you contacted the letting agency? Most tenants are required to maintain the garden and I believe can have their deposit with held when they leave if it’s a mess - that was I was told when we let out mums house.

However, we decided to keep paying for the gardener as mums garden was beautiful and we added the cost to the rent so hopefully we won’t have any problems.

nanna8 Thu 16-Sep-21 11:54:33

I’d think it was up to the church, too. I would have a chat to your local vicar or whatever denomination owns it.

Worthingpatchworker Fri 17-Sep-21 10:41:29

It is sad to hear this for a number of reasons. Firstly that you are in this position. Secondly because so many people don’t have gardens and would love the space which is going to seed. Wouldn’t it be good if those wanting a garden could go into the vicarage garden to tend it and whatever they produce is theirs to keep or pass on. The residents would benefit from a better outlook and you would benefit from reduced weeds. Even a mix of beautiful wild flowers would help the wildlife.
I hope it gets sorted to everyone’s satisfaction.

pen50 Fri 17-Sep-21 10:42:17

As Septimia has said, the vicarage is probably owned by the diocese. Do get in touch with them.

polnan Fri 17-Sep-21 11:06:51

I would be wary, in case in puts to mind, someone to build on it! just saying!

GrannyBeek Fri 17-Sep-21 11:12:33

We have this situation as no vicar at present. Our diocese - Birmingham - gets the money from tenants, not our church (grr!). The property is managed by an agent and the garden is maintained to an extent. Your diocese will have a buildings officer who will know about this.

3dognight Fri 17-Sep-21 11:14:11

It’s probably full of biodiversity Exdancer. Can you not live with it?
I’m sorry that the weeds worry you x

CafeAuLait Fri 17-Sep-21 11:19:05

Maybe they're into rewilding?

BlueBelle Fri 17-Sep-21 11:41:16

There’s a local church here who s large garden is given over to foraging they often have afternoons where people are invited to go and forage and a leader will take the group around I haven’t been as it clashes with my work but it sounds like a great idea
I think worthing has a great idea of turning it over to the community but would it work ??

Beeb Fri 17-Sep-21 11:54:17

Aspolnan says be cautious you don’t want to draw attention to a space that could be a profitable building site. I don’t know the layout of the land but if you imagine a house/houses on that plot you might rather contend with the weed issue. Wildlife havens are all the rage at the moment so you could try that approach when talking to the vicar, suggesting wildflower meadow with a local person who’d mow it at the correct times. Understand your frustration as you keep your garden well cared for. Hope you can reach a happy conclusion.

Nonogran Fri 17-Sep-21 12:00:01

The Land Registry will tell you who actually owns the property. For £3.00 on your credit card or similar you can buy a copy of the registration. From that you can follow up with the Landlord.
Make sure you use the official web site and from that search for Land Registry.
I’ve done this recently and it was very helpful.

MadeInYorkshire Fri 17-Sep-21 12:13:13

I would be spraying the encroaching weeds with weed killer!

WoodLane7 Fri 17-Sep-21 12:20:01

Someone is receiving rental income for said property - presumably the church - whoever it is, it is their responsibility to either get the work done or ensure their tanants do, dependent on what the rental agreement states

Treetops05 Fri 17-Sep-21 12:47:32

The Diocese is responsible. Call your local Cathedral and ask to speak to the property rental department

kwest Fri 17-Sep-21 12:48:47

I too live next door to a vicarage that the church now rent out.
They have maintenance people who come round maybe once a year to inspect trees , fencing, anything that needs doing. The tenants mow the lawns. it is nothing to do with the parish but the Dioceses Main Centre in a small nearby town oversee and have the rent for this house. Perhaps you could go down that route. Whoever receives the actual rent may well be responsible for upkeep and it may not necessarily be your local parish.

Anneeba Fri 17-Sep-21 13:41:18

What a great opportunity to make allotments. As far as I can tell there are always waiting lists for them. Yes, a rotivator would be needed to start with, but the edges could still support birds, bees and other insects if left wild. You need to find the local person with the energy and passion for such a project and give them a nudge. Good luck.

Unigran4 Fri 17-Sep-21 14:15:55

You definitely need to contact the Diocese. Just Google "Which diocese is (name of town/village) in?" Then contact the diocesan office with the problem. The Church is not directly responsible for the vicarage, and may well not have the money to sort the garden on the dioceses behalf. Give it a go, and good luck.

ExDancer Fri 17-Sep-21 14:27:10

A lot of information here, thank you.
Yes the weeds do 'bother' me. I'm elderly and work hard to keep my own patch tidy and I think its unfair to sabotage my efforts in this way.
I have written to the Diocese to see if they'll help, I do attend the church.

cornergran Fri 17-Sep-21 15:07:34

Wishing you well exdancer. Hope the Diocese can act. I can empathise. The property next to ours has been empty for many months, the garden has run wild, now full of brambles and other nasties. The battle to keep them out of our garden is constant and exhausting. I totally understand how overwhelming it can be.

Meg54 Fri 17-Sep-21 15:15:51


I feel for you.
We are now getting "weed attacked" from 3 sides, left, right and bottom of the garden, by neighbours who, for various reasons, do not maintain their gardens at all - in one case for over 2 years.

Some advice which may help you though.

All tenancies stipulate where the area of responsibility lies for the maintenance and care of the property and the grounds, (I am a landlord).
It would be very unusual for a tenancy agreement not to include who is liable for the upkeep of the garden.Also included will be an agreement to not cause "nuisance" to neighbours, either through noise, pollution, antisocial behavior etc. You have taken the first step in contacting the Parish council.

You now need to contact the Church and the tenants, both.

I suggest a formal written notification, explaining that the lack of maintenance to adjoining grounds is causing a nuisance to you, and ask the landlord/tenant to remedy the situation. If this is not addressed to your satisfaction, you can then pursue a civil claim against them under private nuisance legislation. (not expensive, and easily doable).

This could be the prompt they need to stop their indifference impacting on your enjoyment of your garden

Good luck.