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Neighbours neglected garden and weeds

(51 Posts)
Coolgran65 Sat 30-Jun-18 03:31:40

About 18 months ago a young couple moved in next door. Mother bought the house and they rent it from mother.

We are on decent terms with them, say hello and wave as they go in and out. Girl doesn't appear to work and is at home most of the time. Curtains are rarely open and the property is looking neglected with dirty windows and unwanted pet equipment and such lying about outside.. They have a large dog that does its business on the back patio and this lies in piles for days. If washing goes on the clothes line it could be there for a month through all weathers. There is a 3' wall separating us at the back.

I know that how they live is not my business but wanted to give some idea of how it is.

The front garden has gone from being well kept to bring an overgrown eyesore full of thriving weeds.
I work hard to keep our garden looking well, it is my hobby, looks lovely with Japanese anenomes, horizontal firs, oriental poppies. The ground cover is bark chippings. Many of next door's weeds are 3 feet high, also loads of dandelions, and most weeds are about to pop seeds. There is no separating wall or hedge and I know from experience that the seeds from the weeds will eventually settle and sprout without difficulty in our garden. I've already spent one season battling them.
Last year they made a halfhearted effort and asked dh could they borrow some tools. They did a few hour's work.....and that was it. No more action and dh tools were left lying on the ground. After 2 weeks dh went and retrieved his garden tools including ladder.

My question is....
Do I say to them about their weeds seeding on our garden. I'm a bit reluctant as one time last year I went to their door to ask that they turn down their music as it was bouncing off the walls and they showed the cold shoulder for a while.. They probably think that I'm a fusspot and honestly I'm not.but I am starting to be a bit pi**ed off at their thoughtlessness as neighbours.

Sorry for this epic post but wanted to give the full picture.

Would this bother you ?

stella1949 Sat 30-Jun-18 06:18:09

Good fences make good neighbours in my experience. I've had many neighbours over the years and have never found that it does any good to ask them to change. The only change must come from you.

You say that there is no hedge or wall separating the two gardens - I'd suggest that you build a wall or a fence so that their garden doesn't affect yours. They will never do this, so if you want to avoid problem, do it yourself. Good luck !

J52 Sat 30-Jun-18 06:25:56

I know how you feel about the weeds! The garden that runs across the back of ours is very, very long.
The owner is youngish with two primary age children. She keeps 2/3rds of the garden lovely, but the 1/3rd backing on to us is full of weeds. I expect her gardening time is limited
It’s a shame, because at some point, over the last 70 years someone has landscaped it and planted some beautiful specimen plants and trees.
It’s even more galling, as we cut down a Leyllandi hedge, so she got more light!

Liz46 Sat 30-Jun-18 06:28:58

I totally sympathise with you but think it would do more harm than good if you say anything. Does the mother not visit her daughter? Surely she does not want her investment to go down in value?

Do you have any time on your hands? Could you be a bit more friendly with the young couple and say you love gardening and could you look after their front garden for them? I know it would only partly solve the problems but possibly worth a try.

Nelliemoser Sat 30-Jun-18 06:31:17

It is a difficult one. I don't know how you deal with that though. As gardener I would be really angry as well.

Nelliemoser Sat 30-Jun-18 06:40:35

I resort to hanging over our fence spraying the neighbours bindweed just the other side of our fence when they are out.
Huge bindweed grows over my clematis Montana. there is a very thick Leylandii hedge and the neighbours probably cannot see the bindweed their side. Yes I know I shouldn't.

Willow500 Sat 30-Jun-18 06:51:37

Could you put up some pretty trellis fencing along the top of the wall - if asked you could say you want to grow clematis or honeysuckle over it. That would screen your garden from theirs. I wouldn't confront them either - better to be on speaking terms with them than make them the neighbours from hell!

sodapop Sat 30-Jun-18 06:58:46

That sounds like a good idea Willow the neighbours are not interested in their garden
Coolgran which is a shame as its causing you some problems. However I agree that confrontation could well make things worse. Try to keep on friendly terms and put up that fence.

janeainsworth Sat 30-Jun-18 07:05:23

I would feel the same as nellie and be very tempted to go into their garden at dead of night with my can of Roundup.
Or perhaps just ask if you can spray the weeds for them.
I feel for you Coolgran. Your own garden sounds lovely.

OldMeg Sat 30-Jun-18 07:41:03

No way should you talk about this mess to them. Replace the 3’ fence with a 6’ one in the back and fence off your front.

Eglantine21 Sat 30-Jun-18 08:06:30

I’d replace the fence with a higher one too. And offer to do the front.

I’m in a little terrace on a modern estate with a shared front “ courtyard” and grass. The others are young couples at work all day so I look after the front. Everybody’s happy.

Nanabilly Sat 30-Jun-18 08:12:27

It must be horrible to look at every day but I don't think you should do anything without causing a different kind of problem for yourself. They don't seem to be the sort of people who listen and act upon what others have said. If I were in your shoes I would ask them if I could just come round and snip off the tops of whatever is about to seed and explain why you want to do it as I don't think they will have a clue. I'm sure they will not take offence at that.

travelsafar Sat 30-Jun-18 08:16:05

If your mother is their landlord, maybe she she send them a letter asking they tidy up the garden, failing that maybe increase the rent to incorporate a gardener to come in and do the basics such as cutting the lawn, weeding flower beds and covering with bark or gravel to prvent regrowth and just ensure the place loks tidy. She could maybe arrange for a window cleaner too.After all if she ever wanted to sell it would look so much nicer if the garden was tidy rather than overgrown.

Coolgran65 Sat 30-Jun-18 09:30:10

Thanks everyone. You have confirmed my own feeling that I shouldn't say anything negative to them.

It is the girl's mother who owns the house.

Dh and I have talked about putting a 2' fence on top of the separating wall in the back garden. That would screen it whilst downstairs. Our only view then would be from back bedrooms.

To screen off the front garden wouldn't be so simple. For a wall or fence to be tall enough to be effective it would look all wrong. The front is not very big and a wall would be overpowering. Also, we are a cul de sac of 12 properties none of which have a boundary of any height and a 'hard wall/fence would look wrong. Along our front boundary are several well established horizontal fir shrubs about 2' high and a well established camelia of about 8ft. Really too big to move to build a wall or fence.

Since they moved in I've been pulling up weeds on their side as far in as I could reach. I've also kept the their front, where it joins the pavement, clean and free from moss and weeds.

Our garden has been restyled over the years to be now maintenance free so no way would I be taking on the upkeep of next door. It would be too much for me.....think hips, knees etc. All I do is pull up any weed that has settled in our chippings and trim as necessary with secatures. (Sp).

It has not been unknown for me to give a wee spray of weedkiller in their direction onto the dandelions. I think I'll follow the advice upthread and be a little more liberal with the weedkiller. Though it will become apparent what I'm doing. Whether they will even notice, or care, I don't know. But out of principle may object to me doing it. I.e. It's saying that they are lazy.

To ask permission to do this is an option...hmmm... It is asking to be told to mind my own business.

Spraying it is, I think.just a bit now and again so they don't notice that the every weed has been done.

Greyduster Sat 30-Jun-18 09:33:17

It’s a difficult one. I’m with those who have said raise your fences, but weed seedlings are no respecter of fences so you will still get the weeds. Our front open plan garden is separated from next door by a bed which belongs to us. We have a one bed house at the back of us and the man who rents it is away a lot. He does cut his lawn from time to time but leaves the edges and the weeds and couch grass on the perimeter of his driveway, which grow through our fence. Recently, in frustration, I nipped round and pulled a lot of them out! Your problem sounds much worse and I hope you find a solution soon.

Anniebach Sat 30-Jun-18 09:55:40

Please not weed killer they have a dog

harrigran Sat 30-Jun-18 10:14:46

Our neighbour opposite has a real eyesore of a garden, he does no work in the garden and ivy was growing inside the window frames. We complained to various authorities but they said they could not force him to tidy it up because he was an owner occupier.
A self seeded sycamore was growing out over the pavement and catching clothing of passers-by so a neighbour took a saw and cut it down but threw the branches back on the garden. The branches disappeared and I thought the neighbour was making a start on tidying up, checking the CCTV we found it was another neighbour with a log burner who had got himself some free firewood.

paddyann Sat 30-Jun-18 10:45:28

we have a tenanted flat in a block if four ,the tenant next door to ours refused to do any work in his garden.The man downstairs offered to dig it over and keep it ,grow some veg in it .Tenant who SHOULD be looking after it turned him down ,said he'd rather see it six foot high in weeds (which it was) than see potatoes planted in it? The man who offered to do the work was quite distressed about overstepping the mark...he's autistic ,so we offered to speak to the other landlord for him.The landlord says its up to her tenant and HE says he's being harassed .Lot of nonsense but its hard to understand his attitude ...and his landlords as they will get complains about the state of it very soon .Its a strange old world out there

paddyann Sat 30-Jun-18 10:48:56

Anniebach my OH makes his own weedkiller from white non brewed vinegar and salt.Works a treat an is no threat to animals or wildlife.

eazybee Sat 30-Jun-18 10:54:25

Ask them pleasantly and politely about their weeds and ask if they would mind if you sprayed them.
If they say no, you have to leave them alone.
Put up a six foot fence in the back garden, which might stop you taking so much interest in their property and lifestyle.

Melanieeastanglia Sat 30-Jun-18 10:55:50

I know how you feel but I'd be wary of saying anything. It can be a mistake to fall out with neighbours. Could you build a wall or have a fence put up?

Much as I don't believe in constantly using neighbours/friends in life, you might need their assistance one day and, if you've quarrelled, things could be hard for you.

Unpleasantness with neighbours can become very difficult.

Charleygirl Sat 30-Jun-18 10:58:50

I also am very liberal with weedkiller for next door and another property which is close by and the weeds creep under the fence and trail across my tiles.

Because of recent surgery I have not been able to use the Roundup for many weeks so it is a total eyesore outdoors.

I also would not say anything but would apply the weedkiller when I think that everybody is out.

BlueBelle Sat 30-Jun-18 11:04:35

I agree with others don’t cause an argument or bad feeling raise your fence and do all the other little ploys suggested when I look out my back window I see a yard next door full of black bags four mattresses an old microwave it looks just like a DUMP but I try never to look They are not bad people we speak the time of day they are not nasty folks and I m sure if I needed help they would Not my of living for sure

Anniebach Sat 30-Jun-18 11:33:12

Me too Paddyann , that Roundup is a danger to animals.

As for people who have no wish to garden, their choice, annoying to neighbours, but I know people who think neat flower beds, mowed lawns etc is so unnatural

Bellanonna Sat 30-Jun-18 11:40:24

You can use salt in weeds although it takes longer to kill them. I think your neighbours might notice it as well. I use it on our patio as I don’t want to harm “my” birds.