Anxiety in the Garden – New Neighbors

The mild wind brings another shower of dandelion seed from my neighbors property. It looks like snow in spring and it is almost relaxing to watch them slowly sway in the breeze as they sink to the ground. If only it didn’t mean a lot of weeding in the futute. 

    My neighbors yard has been an eyesore for a long time. Bamboo, ivy, wysteria intermingled with fallen trees and every weed in the color palate of annoying greens. I had known what it was when we bought the house and planed accordingly, planting large specimen shrubs along the fence line with a pair of crape myrtle to gain some height fast. All was well at home castle until one morning the “for sale” sign appeared in their front yard. 

    A new neighbor could be a great thing. It could also be disaster. And my mind immediately starts spinning. What if they want to build large privacy screen taking all the light from the fruit trees ? What if they will clear the lot with chemicals and sprays that will drift into my property ? What if they start having loud parties disturbing the tranquility ? What if, in a nutshell, they manage to take my sacred space, my refuge, my garden from me….

    My mind has imagened every dark scenario and I realized things were getting slightley out of hand when I was envisioning them building a three floor extension of the garage. Interestingly I never really thought about what kind of people they would be – a family with kids to play with, or a nice lady to discuss my sewing projects with – all I could think about was, what it would do to my garden. 

    And then I met them. Briefly. They seem nice. Perfectly good people.  What will come, I dont know. But I have learned something. First, how much I need my garden in my life. That it means so much more to me then I imagened. It is not just beautiful. It is a place I feel safe and a place that means home. Secondly, as I was envisioning those scenarios I could usually find a “plant solution”. The large privacy screens could be a great opportunity to grow some shade loving vines, like clematis, or play with instaling a mirror or murrals. The loud parties can be drowned out by a high hedge and water feature. I will have to be patient to see what will change, as change is inevitable. Noone lives in a bubble. But at least I can trust that most of the time there will be a plant to deal with it. 

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    2 thoughts on “Anxiety in the Garden – New Neighbors

    1. I know how you feel! Unfortunately my nightmares came true and they ripped out and burnt all the mature trees and hedging, then their dogs barked relentlessly at us…However, I am on the south side of the divide and my hedge is already 5ft and alot denser than the one they had.. So one day soon I can have my garden back… theres always a plant to save the day.

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      1. Oh no, how sad it would be to have to watch such distruction. I am sure I jave some of that coming having learned they are flippers. No real love for a place just an eye to make money. Currently there is talk of a full screen fence. I am already studdying climbing vines. I hope you will get your sanctuary back soon. Grow hedgerow, grow.

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