Sunday 1 April 2012

Should We Retreat From My Retreat?

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

This is one of the little nooks where I sit while reading a book on a sunny day. Sometimes I just sit and survey the garden and plan out in my head what I'm going to do with it. Not long ago, I couldn't have bothered with this as I felt so ill, so this renewed interest and vigour is definitely a step in the right direction, don't you think?

A few days ago, I was sitting on this bench reading a book. It was a really warm day and everything seemed good. Suddenly branches started falling all over me. My next door neighbour had started chopping again and although she had a perfect right to cut branches off my tall shrub that were overhanging her garden, I did think that it was a bit anti social to choose a time when I was actually sitting there. She muttered to me, "It is within the law." So I said,"Thats OK." and left it at that. I decided to stay seated and carried on reading my book, even though there were bits and pieces falling down on me. I just trusted that she wouldn't actually cut a large branch down that would bang my head. Eventually, Sam, my son, came out with a cup of tea and sat down beside me. He rolled his eyes when he saw what was happening. We have had this kind of thing happen spasmodically, over the past few years. These spells usually go on for a good few weeks and wreck our lives for a while.

Because of these occasional problems that we have with this neighbour, we have put up bamboo screening on trellis so that we might be more private as well as providing more shelter for my shrubs in case the cold had a bad effect on them.
I am slightly suspicious now that my trees that died might have had a helping hand. I was sure it was because of a cold snap that those trees died, however because the neighbour cornered Harry on the same day that she was in a chopping frenzy and asked him to climb up and chop the overhanging branches off, I now think theres more to it than meets the eye. Although Harry is physically much better now this new cancer drug is working, it would be very silly for him to go up ladders with loppers. I am pleased that he told her he couldn't do this because of ill health. She then snapped that Sam should do it.
This neighbour doesn't like to have much in her garden and has one tree and a stretch of lawn. She has asked me before if she could cut the heads off any flowers that popped over her side.
This reminded me of the Addams Family, when Morticia chopped the heads off flowers and just left the stalks and leaves in the vase, sighing with satisfaction and saying, "Ah....... that's better."
Does anyone remember the Addams Family?

We are lying low....... but I don't think we have heard the end of her annoyance and wait with bated breath wondering if she will react in some awful way.

You can see the tamarisk tree stump that died. I have left the trunk in so that the Clematis will not be disturbed and it is now budding and will hopefully cover up the eye sore.
The fencing is not that high but might prevent anything being thrown over the wall.

I decided to plant my potted bay tree in the devastated bare patch and hope it will spring to life quickly and not take years to grow.

I have been very guarded about what I write on my blog over the years, but as it is a kind of journal about real life events, I decided that this attitude is silly because I found myself in a situation where I couldn't write about anything in case it might be taken the wrong way.
So this is one of our trials at the moment and naturally, I wanted to write about it.


CorvusCorax12 said...

how sad..i like a wild garden. Trees,shrubs and nature are a great thing.

CiCi said...

It doesn't sound like your neighbor tries to control what you grow on your common wall, only wanting control of what hangs over onto her side of the fence. Why the neighbor feels the need to mutter something is unknown. You have a good attitude and wise to ignore the disturbance. That is another reason I want to stay in this little house as long as I am able. No one is right next to me so there can't be any problems with neighbors. I do like your bench and the bamboo and the peace that you have established in your garden. With ill health, sad events and stress in our lives, we all should at least be granted peace in our own little corners.

Working Mum said...

Ah, I understand. The neighbour. (The same one of the windchimes?)

Gardens do not respect the boundaries we put on them and yes, it is within the law to cut what comes over to your own garden, but on top of your head?!!

Personally, I've welcomed interlopers and we have some lovely bamboo growing by daughter's playhouse courtesy of one neighbour and I'm sure our plum tree came from another neighbour's! We used to have a lovely cotoneaster tumbling over our fence from next door until ourn neighbour 'kindly' cut it back for us - I was most upset!

FeltByRae said...

Oh Maggie, I am so sorry you have such a lousy neighbour, having had some over the years growing up I can empathise - they really spoil life for you and are very stressful to cope with as you never know what will set them off as they are irrational. I do hope it all settles down again soon for you

Brian Miller said...

i am glad you feel the freedom to write whatever...what a neighbor too...that stinks...we have one that just wont talk to us...even if we try talking to them...they were good friends with the previous owners and i guess figure we stole their friends....who i dont even know but...

dianefaith said...

Some people are just like that. I don't know why. My husband got upset when the neighbors on one side planted river birches close to the property line. He thought the limbs would grow into our driveway. Then he got upset when the neighbor on the other side planted a magnolia tree -- this time because he doesn't like the leaves magnolias shed on the lawn. He's a good man, just strange in this particular way.

Hilary said...

People are strange and I'm sure we all have our quirks. Hopefully most of us are nicer about them than your neighbours are.

Wendy said...

Oh I remember the Addams family!! I'd forgotten the proper spelling and would have just typed Adams Family. But who could forget Morticia? And the rest? LOL. I have to confess that I don't remember her plucking heads of flowers. I do remember that "hand" coming up from the table. Eerie!

Neighbours like that you can do without! I hope things will be smoothed over as its hard when neighbours cause problems.

I too have be careful of blogging, but sometimes you just have to let it all out. And you know who your friends are.
Sending hugs,

Irene said...

I think you should let your neighbor know more clearly what you are not amused about. It does seem that she takes liberties. I think it's good that you blog about these kinfs of things because it's better to air your heart about them. At the risk of getting all sorts of unsollicited advice, of course :o)

Expat mum said...

How tiresome and upsetting to have someone like that. I mean, who cuts flower heads off?
My mother had some neighbours last year who were perfectly nice but took out the entire bushy hedges between the gardens and left mum no privacy at all. It was devastating and mum resorted to the bamboo fence too. Worst thing was the neighbours moved about three months later so the whole hedge trim might not have happened.

Pauline said...

How awful to have such a horrid neighbour! I admire you for staying so calm about it. Like you, things happen that I can't blog about but I write about them and one day .....

Ayak said...

How bloody rude and inconsiderate to start chopping while you're sitting there. Well done for staying so calm. I always believe that people who behave like this must have empty unhappy lives. They are to be pitied.

Akelamalu said...

Some neighbours are a pain in the proverbial aren't they? :(

Glad to hear you're feeling well enough to contemplate gardening. I hope Harry is doing better. x

Anonymous said...

I think your retreat is beautiful and it looks very peaceful.

The neighbour sounds like a total nightmare! I'd be quite annoyed to think she was just chopping down branches and cutting heads off flowers just because they were hanging in her garden. It would have been courtesy to ask first, and certainly more neighbourly. It's posts like this one that makes me very happy I don't have any neighbours!!

CJ x

Rose said...

I do remember the Addams family, but I had forgotten Morticia's chopping off the flowers. Sounds like you have your very own Morticia living next door:) How irritating and downright rude of her to be chopping off branches right onto your head! Improper pruning could damage a tree or shrub, so you would think she would have the courtesy to ask you about it first. Maybe you should suggest she take her children or grandchildren to see "The Lorax"--maybe that will change her ways! I'm glad I don't have any neighbors close by, but especially one like this!

Jeni said...

Oh Maggie! I, for one, can sure understand your trepidation about how to express what's on your mind without overstepping those invisible boundaries! That's frequently an issue with me but I think we all do have to step forward at least a bit every now and again to air the cobwebs, sort through things, in our minds, don't we? (Otherwise, as you said, we are left with nothing to journal about because, yes -blogging is very much a journal endeavor.)
Kind of mind boggling though why this person would be so forceful about the chopping stuff. Makes you wonder what goes through people's minds at times, doesn't it? And who in blazes would be objecting to a little color poking it's head over shrubs and/or fences and such? My own gardening efforts are so poor most of the time, I sure would welcome something like that here!

Sally Wessely said...

Good for you for writing about this. I was just wondering if your neighbor read your blog. I hope she does and sees how unneighborly she is. She sure seems to have a mean streak in her to keep clipping on branch when she knew they were hitting you. I see that as abusive. She knowingly kept at an activity that could have hurt you (think stick in eye) while you were sitting on your own property. I am truly amazed by the things some people will do.

I hope you find some peace in your own little corner of the world. You certainly deserve it.

Sueann said...

I* have lived as q prisoner in my own land before and it is no fun.
I am sorry you have such an angry neighbor. That sucks
Be well dear one

Gail Is This Mutton? said...

Very sorry to hear about your vindictive neighbour.It's so sad to hear about your battle to save the clematis because of her thoughtless actions. Why do people have to be so selfish?

Suldog said...

Some folks find it quite impossible to live and let live. I've never understood that. Aren't there enough problems in the world to go around? Why make more?

You have patience and grace. Good for you!

Suburbia said...

So sorry this has reared it's ugly head again Maggie, it must be very stressful to live next door to someone who is so vindictive and unpredictable, I do feel for you. I did have a similar problem once and for a while I dreaded going home.

Best wishes to you all

( if you fancy a trip to the Botanical Garden I would love to take you and wouldn't mind if you just wanted to wander there without company for a while :-)

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Booger, I'm sorry that you don't have a great neighbor. What a drag she must be.

I do, I do so remember the Adams Family.(Snap!Snap!)

I'm glad ya'll are feelin' better. The great weather should help. I can just see ya in the warm sun readin' in your garden.

God bless ya sweetie and have a glorious day!!! :o)

cheshire wife said...

Sorry to hear that you have problems with your neighbour. Our delightful neighbours, with the barking dog, are away at the moment and I am enjoying the peace and quiet. I do not know why they have to be so difficult and I know exactly how you feel.